Leading Innovative Teams: Evolving from High-Performing Teams to Ensembles

As a leader, your role is to inspire and guide your team towards success. In an operational work environment, the focus is on executing tasks and driving results through a hierarchy. However, the leader’s role is different in an innovative work environment. The leader must create an environment that fosters creativity, collaboration, and ingenuity.

Leaders must focus on building collaborative ensembles rather than high-performing teams to achieve this innovative environment. The book The Five Principles of Performance Thinking by Dr. Mark Powell and Jonathan Gifford describes an ensemble as a high-performing team with an additional creative dimension. In other words, it’s a culture of collaborative ensembles who have “group intelligence.” They generate ideas that no single member would have thought of on their own, know their purpose, and can tell a story that conveys something meaningful at an intellectual and emotional level about the company or a product.

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Understand the Impact of Misaligned Creative and Operational Work


In today’s complex organizational landscape, reimagining work and leadership is essential. Creative Work (CW) drives innovation, while Operational Work (OW) sustains daily functions. Failure to understand their dynamics leads to inefficiencies and missed opportunities. Tailored leadership for CW and OW is crucial for navigating modern business challenges and fostering innovation, adaptability, and sustainable growth.

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Striking the Right Balance of Operational and Creative Leadership for Strategic Success


Leaders grapple with the ongoing challenge of harmonizing day-to-day Operational Work (OW) and fostering Creative Work (CW). Understanding the dynamics of both is key to strategic execution and critical for organizational success. Therefore, leaders need to cultivate a culture that values and nurtures both operational and creative work.

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The Power of Self-Promotion

In today’s blog to aid you on your leadership adventure, I will be outlining the steps to overcome the reluctance to claim achievements and not enlisting allies. This is a common issue that many people face who tend to keep their heads down and shy away from self-promotion. However, this approach can hold you back and prevent you from reaching your full potential.

By following these steps, you can overcome the reluctance to claim achievements and not enlist allies. Remember that self-promotion is not about being obnoxious or bragging about your achievements, but about finding an appropriate way to bring attention to your successes and making your achievements visible to senior levels.

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Why Expertise Isn’t Enough

In today’s fast-paced and ever-changing world, it’s important to be agile and adaptable. One common mistake many leaders make is overvaluing their own expertise. While it’s important to have a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in your field, relying solely on expertise can limit your ability to lead and manage others effectively.

Instead, we recommend developing agility in your leadership mindset and behaviour. This means being able to adapt to changing situations, building relationships, and working collaboratively with others to achieve common goals.

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