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Creative Leadership

Learn how Creative Leadership can unlock your potential and grow new possibilities based on research from the Royal College of Art.

Dates: 3, 4 & 5 March 2021

Duration: 3 live sessions 9am – 12pm GMT on each day

Mode: online (interactive)

Fee: £750

Register your interest

Click here to book

Course overview

Creative Leadership is not a typical leadership strategy. 

At the heart of our model are three leadership values that apply to everyone:

  • Creativity is an innate ability to develop solutions 
  • Empathy is the hallmark of a 21st century leader
  • Clarity is an undervalued idea in the conversation.

The course will take you through these three leadership attributes showing how you can engage and upskill. It is for those in leadership, aspiring leaders, and those who were never encouraged to be leaders. Catalysing change can be external, but real change starts within. Creative Leadership is a transformational process that focuses on your individual growth. In turn, this can have a powerful effect on the organisation, team, or projects around you. 

For over a decade now the World Economic Forum (WEF) has been calling for new models of leadership that foster greater social inclusion and development. The WEF ‘Future of Jobs Report’ 2018 asserts that – ‘human’ skills such as creativity, complex problem solving and empathy will be the most in-demand leadership qualities in 2022. 

This has been amplified by the recent Covid-19 pandemic. In a time of limited clarity and systemic instability, we have witnessed the value of people-centred and creativity-led approaches and appreciation of an empathic stance from some world leaders. 

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 across job roles, organisational departments and industry domains. 

This introductory executive workshop is based on the tried and tested methods of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design. It draws on expertise the Centre has acquired delivering over 300 projects for clients ranging from businesses to government and the third sector. The workshop will include examples of real-world case studies of Creative Leadership in action.

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 Empathy, Clarity and Creativity
  • interaction and networking with peers from different backgrounds
  • joining a Creative Leaders Circle community of intent around 21st-century leadership.

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
  • understand the value of these leadership attributes in ideation, research and project delivery.

How will I learn?

Learning takes place in groups of up to 25 participants.

The course includes:

  • Online lectures / webinars
  • Interactive group sessions in break-out rooms
  • Feedback from facilitators
  • Resources for online self-participation, e.g. journal articles, videos and case studies

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, looking at how design can address society’s toughest issues from ageing and healthcare to seeing how new forms of technology such as AI can benefit humanity. With nearly two decades in leadership and innovation, last year Rama was recognised by Design Week Awards 2019 for his lifetime contribution to socially inclusive design. He is an international and inspirational figure within design, business and innovation and in 2018 he was named one of 2018’s Creative Leaders by Creative Review next to Paul Smith and Björk. In demand as a keynote speaker, writer, curator and thinker, Rama 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 Inclusive Design for Business Impact area, looking at how the methods, tools and 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 Rama to grow the evidence-base and scope of Creative Leadership and its three focus areas: Creativity, Empathy and Clarity. This is being 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, Panasonic, Bertelsmann and Design and Architecture Norway (DOGA).  

How to book 

Click here to book

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

Please 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
"Creative Leadership is a ‘must’ for leaders who want to break down barriers and be respectful of the emerging changes being brought about in leadership influenced by those coming into the workplace for the first time, who will not tolerate the top down approach of yesteryear." Masterclass participant, November 2019
Rama Gheerawo
Rama Gheerawo
Dr Ninela Ivanova
Dr Ninela Ivanova