Creators Circle, our new event focused on entrepreneurship, takes place in Barcelona in a month (July 13-15). We are oficially in countdown, and asked some of our Masters to share a few insights.
Today's story features Ann Le Cam, a global talent and studio leader that brings three decades of senior leadership experience focused on creative talent and designing the most effective, innovative environments for them. As a business and talent leader in multinational environments she has built a reputation for innovative strategic thinking and transformational leadership.
In this fast-paced digital era we’re living in, why is innovative strategic thinking so important to business leaders?
Technology is changing everything in our day-to-day lives and new, groundbreaking technologies are revealed every day. There is no reason to think this might slow down any time soon and as a result this has a fundamental impact on business, how things are done, the services we provide and how we need to lead. In this fast changing environment it is imperative for leaders to create an environment where people can innovate and to curate, enable and support new ideas coming into the organization. It will enable the organizations to remain vibrant and competitive, while also integrating better with the current social and economic environment. Leaders set the tone for organizations and need to provide environments where people are able and willing to innovate and think differently, this comes with distributing authority and responsibility, making it OK to fail, because that comes with trying new things and providing meaning and purpose for the work that needs to be done. In this fast changing world, we also get overwhelmed by the incessant flow of information and challenges that come our way and it is important for leaders to take the time to not only be responsive, but set aside time for creative and strategic work in order to set the compass and direction of where the organization needs to go next. This requires pausing, reflecting, connecting and engaging more deeply with themselves and with the organization. It is important for leaders to be self-aware about what they are sensing, observing in the organization and in the world, and also about what they project themselves as leaders when they set the tone for creativity and innovation.
What kind of key roles should tomorrow’s leaders hone? What’s the right mindset here?
I touched a little bit on this in my previous answer, but the skills that I think are important for leaders today are - curiosity: the willingness to learn, to explore, to discover something new and to have the ability to admit we don't know everything. Curiosity is the source of creativity and, especially when everything is changing so fast and a new generation of people are entering the workplace, approaching the work with an open mind will reveal opportunities provide new insights for the future. - Willingness to explore, innovate and potentially fail: Leaders need to change their approach to risk and learn how to normalize well-intentioned failure in the organization. My mentor, Ed Catmull, taught me that "if we are not failing, we are not trying hard enough", and this provides great license to an organization to experiment, try new things and become innovative. - Comfort with ambiguity and resilience: As change is accelerating, we need to learn to be decisive even if we don't have all the information, even if it involves risk. The leaders role is to help make sense of all the noise that is surrounding us and to trace a path for the organization and its' employees. This is where a well articulated purpose and clear values and goals will help keep clarity into the future path, despite the ambiguity. - Kindness and authenticity: Most of all, i think it is important for leaders to be true to themselves, to be human and kind, not only with the people around them, but with themselves too. This enables trust and also gives license to other people to follow, feels safe and supported.
Women face a unique set of challenges when trying to progress into leadership positions. What are some of the tools or skills women in business can use to nurture their success?
As women in the workplace, I think it is important for us to lean into our differences, have the courage to dive into new adventures and create space for ourselves around the business tables. We can't wait for others to bring a chair and make room for us, we need to learn how to bring our own chair and make space for ourselves. I think it is important for us to accept new challenges, even if they might seem uncomfortable or a little scary in the beginning and to not be affraid to put ourselves out there. I do believe that diverse environments (especially gender and ethnical diverse environments) are performing better than others, because we bring a different and unique perspective to the table, so it is important to lean into those differences and find space to express them. From my experience, women have a harder time speaking up in meetings, so it is important for us to find our unique voice and make sure it adds value to the conversation. My advise to young women today would be to be competent and confident , so they can integrate well into the business environment and find their voice.
What excites you about Creators Circle? Can you tell us a bit about what you're bringing to the table?
I am very excited to see Creators Circle as a place where creativity meets business and where we can enable and empower female artists, sotrytellers and creators to find a voice in the business world. It is a unique opportunity for bonding and support, which i believe will be a catalyst for many as they trace their future career paths. Having been an executive in a highly creative enviornemt and having supported digital and cultural transformations throughout my career, I am excited to share some of my learnings with the participants and give them some advice I wish I would have received when I was younger and at the start of my journey. Most of my experience centers around leadership, talent management and creating environments where people can do their best work. I really look forward to sharing insights and perspectives and having meaningful conversations with the participants.
Find out more about Creators Circle and get your ticket here!