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Creative Leadership Workshop

Key details


  • 1 March 2022


  • Rama Gheerawo

Read time

  • 2 minutes

“This is not just a book for designers. It is for the creative that lives in every human”

Rama Gheerawo Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design at the RCA
Creative Leadership by Rama Gheerawo

This is not just a book for designers. It is for the creative that lives in every human. However, the idea did start with my life as a designer, and it was born from my core practice of inclusive design.

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, the RCA’s largest and longest-running centre for design research, has been influential in developing the practice of inclusive design over its 31 year-history. It is where I cut my teeth in addressing instances of exclusion by age, ability, gender, race, geography, class and economic context, just to name a few aspects of human diversity that we need to better consider. Inclusive design aims to address the largest number of people. At the Centre, we simply say it is about ‘improving life’.

The genesis of the book and model for Creative Leadership emerged from a single insight: we need creatives who are leaders, and leaders who are creative. It was fuelled by an ache for equity and a realisation that if you change leadership you can potentially change everything.

Creative Leadership by Rama Gheerawo

Throughout the book, using real case studies, I reflect on creative leadership as a transformational process that can be applied to individuals, groups, organisations and projects. Whilst it draws on practice from the creative industries it transcends disciplines, roles and institutions. The model was honed over the last decade to create a framework from living experience.

At the book’s core are three leadership values of Empathy, Clarity and Creativity. These are based on the principles that:

  • Everyone has leadership potential and most of us can access these three values
  • Creativity is a universal ability to develop ideas that positively impact ourselves and others
  • Empathy is the hallmark of a twenty-first-century leader and is recognised as a signature value
  • Clarity is the link that aligns vision, direction and communication, personally and professionally
Creative Leadership by Rama Gheerawo

These three values balance each other. All are needed. If you only have Empathy you might be seen as a pushover, or plumb the depths of Empathy exhaustion. Only Clarity and you may be dictatorial, over-rational or intellectual to less human degree. Creativity by itself needs direction, impetus and chanelling, else you are bicycle pedalling hard but with no chain. The interplay of these values is what gives the model its strength.

Creative Leadership proposes and cultivates a culture of inclusion. Current events continually demonstrate there has been a real need for its open-handed and open-hearted stance. It is an idea of its time, born from design and drawing on enduring, human values. Importantly, it provides a platform for us all to create the leadership we want to see, and effect this change in the world around us.

Creative Leadership: Born from Design is out 1 March 2022 published by Lund Humphries

Purchase your copy of Creative Leadership: Born from Design

The Helen Hamlyn Centre is offering an exclusive 20% discount for this publication. Use the code LEADERSHIP20

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Design.Leadership hosted by the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

Launching ‘Creative Leadership: Born from Design’ a new book on contemporary leadership by Rama Gheerawo

31 March 2022, 4–5pm
Creative Leadership: Born from Design