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Creative Leadership

Learn how Creative Leadership can unlock your potential for innovation based on new research from the Royal College of Art.

Dates: 26–27 October 2020

Duration: One day, structured over two half-days

  • Day one: starts after lunch at 1pm and finishes at 5.30pm
  • Day two: starts at 9.30am and finishes before lunch at 1.30pm

Location: RCA Kensington

Fee: £750

Course overview

Creative Leadership is not a typical leadership strategy. It’s a transformational process in which individuals use their innate creativity and potential to realise the goals of their organisation or project. 

In 2018 the World Economic Forum (WEF) called for new models of leadership to address the challenges arising from the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and to foster greater social inclusion and development.  

The WEF ‘Future of Jobs Report’ 2018 asserts that within the context of technological advances such as AI – and the volatile, uncertain and complex world of today – ‘human’ skills such as creativity, complex problem solving and empathy will be the most in-demand leadership qualities in 2022. 

The Creative Leadership short course at the Royal College of Art was pioneered by Rama Gheerawo, Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, to address the need for new models of leadership at all levels of an organisation. 

This introductory one-day executive workshop is based on tried and tested methods developed with businesses, drawing on expertise the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design has acquired while delivering over 280 projects for clients ranging from businesses, the government and the third sector. The workshop will include examples of real-world case studies of Creative Leadership in action.

Research by the Centre shows that the three core Creative Leadership attributes they identified – empathy, clarity and creativity – are widely recognised as baseline operational and leadership values. They establish a holistic proposition for personal and organisational development previously unmet by design management, creative strategy and leadership courses.

Personal and organisational benefits

The benefits to you and your organisation include:

  • the opportunity to develop and apply the core RCA Creative Leadership attributes and processes
  • access to world-class expertise 
  • strategies to to cultivate your individual leadership profile using creativity, empathy and clarity
  • interaction and networking with peers from different backgrounds.
What will I learn?

You will learn to:

  • practice Creative Leadership on an individual and collective level
  • apply the attributes, tools and frameworks of Creative Leadership in your personal and professional development
  • recognise and address the need for empathy, clarity and creativity in your interactions with colleagues, clients and partners and understand the value of these leadership attributes in ideation, research and project delivery.

How will I learn?

The course includes:

  • lectures
  • interactive group workshops, with feedback from facilitators.

Who should attend?

This course is highly suited to:

  • chief design officers
  • mid-to-senior level management
  • in-house R&D teams
  • business developers
  • sales, marketing and design teams
  • entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs
  • anyone from the creative industries
  • talent consultants
  • traditional services e.g. finance, accounting, IT, law etc
  • government and civil service
  • public sector and NGOs.

Programme team

Rama Gheerawo is Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. With nearly two decades in leadership and innovation, he was named one of 2018’s Creative Leaders by Creative Review. He is a serial innovator in the fields of technology, products, services and transport with over 100 projects to his name. In demand as a keynote speaker, writer, curator and thinker, he is highly experienced in delivering workshops and executive sessions that motivate and inspire business leaders, practitioners, academics and entrepreneurs. 

Dr Ninela Ivanova is an Innovation Fellow at The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design where she heads the new Inclusive Design for Business Impact area, which looks at how the methods, tools & processes of Inclusive Design, Design Thinking and Creative Leadership can directly impact and transform business and industry. Ninela is an interdisciplinary designer and researcher who specialises in working co-creatively with people to educate and inspire audiences towards innovation and collaboration on a global scale. Ninela joined the RCA in January 2018 as a Research Fellow to work alongside HHCD Director Rama Gheerawo to grow the evidence-base and scope of Creative Leadership and its three focus areas: Creativity, Empathy and Clarity. This is fulfilled by bringing together design and neuroscience to further knowledge and practical applications in areas of personal and organisational transformation, as well as thought leadership projects that wholistically address technological, environmental and people factors.

The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design is the largest and longest-running centre for design research at the Royal College of Art. The founding principles are to use empathy to understand people’s needs and then harness the creative power of design to make a difference through the delivery of products, services, systems and environments. 

The RCA Creative Leadership executive workshop is based on custom courses delivered for organisations such as the Hong Kong Civil Service Bureau, Bertelsmann and Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA).  

How to book 

Click here to book

Register your interest to download the full course description.

Disclaimer: The information given is accurate at the time of publication, however, the RCA reserves the right to amend the described courses as circumstances dictate.


+44 (0)20 7590 4279
[email protected]

Click here to book

Register your interest to download the full course description.

"90 per cent of individuals and organisations included in RCA research recognise and accept the core Creative Leadership attributes – empathy, clarity and creativity – as baseline operational and leadership values in our Fourth Industrial Revolution world." Rama Gheerawo

Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

"By taking the course, I learnt a whole new concept of Creative Leadership and how it can be applied to my daily work and life." Participant, Hong Kong Civil Service Bureau, 2018
Rama Gheerawo
Rama Gheerawo