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Creative Leadership Workshop in the Senior Common Room at the RCA
Next course starts 14 September 2023

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

Key details


  • £900


  • Location: Battersea campus

    1.5 days in person

    Day 1: 14 September 2023 (start after lunch 1–5pm BST)

    Day 2: 15 September 2023 (10am – 5pm BST)

Creative Leadership is not a typical leadership strategy. 

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

  • Empathy is the hallmark of a 21st century leader (widely spoken about by Forbes, Harvard Business Review and others)
  • Creativity is an innate ability to develop solutions (this course is delivered by creatives with international profiles)
  • Clarity is needed to balance and activate empathy (this is often undervalued, but we will give you a grounding in this)

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 (the largest category of all). 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 and will be delivered face to face on campus.

About the course

Day 1

Creative Leadership: a new model for 21st century leadership

  • Theory and definitions
  • Research, values, applications

The values of Creative Leadership (part 1)

  • Empathy
  • Case Studies

Day 2

The values of Creative Leadership (part 2)

  • Clarity
  • Creativity
  • case studies
  • Barriers to creativity
  • Final presentations
  • Group review and feedback
  • Key takeouts and reflections

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

The benefits to you and your organisation include:

  • the opportunity to develop and apply the core RCA Creative Leadership attributes and processes that activate and step beyond empathy
  • access to world-class expertise 
  • strategies 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
  • a certificate of attendance.

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.

Learning takes place over 1.5 days in person, participants get taught as a group and work in smaller teams.

The course includes:

  • lectures / building blocks
  • feedback from facilitators
  • resources, e.g. journal articles, videos and case studies.

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.

This course will be delivered face-to-face at our new flagship building in Battersea.


RCA Executive Education will continue to monitor the Covid-19 situation in the period up to the course dates.

Our planning incorporates the latest Government guidance as well as consideration of how best to ensure a safe and inclusive learning space for participants and staff team.

Our participants health, wellbeing and quality of experience while attending our on-campus courses is paramount to us.

Full details of the Covid safe guidelines in place for the course will be provided to you in advance of your start date with your welcome information.

Disclaimer: Change to online delivery

It may be necessary due to Covid-19 restrictions to change the mode of delivery to live online.

We will endeavour to notify all participants in advance of any changes, no later than two weeks before the course start date.

Terms & conditions apply.


Contact us

Get in touch with Jo Chounta if you'd like to find out more about this or any of our other short courses.

Email us at
[email protected]
Executive Education Team