December 4, 2018

Kevin Roberts on Creative Process: How to Become a Creative Leader

December 4, 2018

Kevin Roberts on Creative Process: How to Become a Creative Leader

Creativity, Culture & Leadership

In today’s diverse business landscape, creativity is an essential skill that modern business leaders need to have. It is synonymous to imagination and innovative thinking — specific skill sets that are necessary in pushing workforces to be progressive.  

Insight: It takes more than sheer will and efficiency to become a great leader — the key to success is creativity.

Data:  According to this report, 60% of leaders believe creativity to be the most important skill in leadership roles.

Key Action Point: Learn how Kevin Roberts, CEO of Red Rose Consulting (and former CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi), stays creative and what his creative process is.

With our rapidly changing business climate, creative leaders stand out in having the will necessary to abandon structures in favour of vision and innovation. They keep the wheels turning, no matter the circumstances and are crucial in keeping organisations alive.  

Creative leaders are great problem solvers. They have the capacity to see beyond the obvious and are able to capture new opportunities with an entirely different perspective. This is why we see so many creative leaders flourish in industries like IT and innovative technology — they are able to see opportunities where others see problems.

For leaders, the upside is that you can take small steps everyday to become more creative at work.

  1. Give yourself some space. And it’s all about finding some space in your daily routine to pause and reflect. Sometimes all you really need to invite more creative ideas is having the time and space to think. Schedule some time for yourself and book yourself some time to explore new ideas. Get up from your desk, get some coffee, or take a walk outside the office.
  2. Engage in new experiences. Nothing dulls your creative flow more than routine. So go beyond the usual, and go out of your usual environment to explore and engage in new experiences. Talk to different people. Attend workshops and seminars that help you discover more about yourself.
  3. Ask questions. The quickest way to find new opportunities is by always asking questions. Go ahead and challenge the norm and find new ways of doing things. Asking questions helps you develop critical thinking, which is essential in developing your creative mind.
  4. Let go of structure. Creativity flourishes when structures aren’t followed. Give yourself and your team some time to brainstorm new ideas with no structure to follow.

How do you go about being creative? Watch the fifth, and last, video with Kevin Roberts where we asked the former Saatchi & Saatchi CEO what his creative process is.


Kevin Roberts Shares His Creative Process

Below is an edited transcript of Kevin Robert’s dialogue from the video.

Creativity out is a direct reflection of creativity in. My creative process is to get away from business people, to never eat and drink with business people, to never ever ever ever do client lunches with them. It never happens.

I read a lot. I watch a lot. I taste a lot. I travel a lot. I talk to really diverse groups of people.

For me the process starts with inspiring myself.  Inspiration starts with curiosity. And it normally starts with a blank piece of paper and a pen.

I prefer to do it alone. I can’t work with teams.  

I’m not a team of two, or a team of four.

I don’t brainstorm, I don’t talk about it for quite a while, I don’t worry about it,

Colin Powell once said, “It isn’t as bad as you think. Everything looks better in the morning.“


Learn decision-making techniques to ensure team consensus in this article.



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