I was in Adelaide recently and was listening to the closing remarks given by the leader of an organisation when I heard the phrase 'creative democracy'. Although it was directed at the audience, it rung loudly in my ears as a great statement. Creative Democracy
. What did he mean by it? He wanted every person in the organisation to feel that their ideas were valued. Instead of some people believing that they were 'just' a receptionist, 'just' a forklift driver or 'just' a finance controller, his intention was to ensure that each person felt empowered, valued and rewarded in their role, to give them the confidence to develop their own ideas. The lesson for me to take back to managers that I speak to, is to eradicate the words 'I am just'
a receptionist, sales guy or a simple office worker within their organisations, because that is an immediate ceiling that will create a barrier to people coming up with great ideas. If employees don't believe they are valued, they won't think their ideas have value and consequently their ideas will die inside them. Great leaders who develop an environment of creativity and innovation have a creative democracy where EVERY persons idea or ideas are valued in some way. Some ideas are big, some will be small and some will be a stepping stone for others to build upon. Many good ideas in many organisations die on the vine because there isn't creative democracy and people do see themselves as 'just a....'. Those words should be eradicated from not only the vocabulary of the creative leader, but also from the whole organisation. That is what will start you on the road to creative