NCLS Research

Explore: Explore Options Creatively

Strength 4 of the 12 Leadership Strengths
(refer pages 76-82 of Lead with your Strengths)

To Explore Options Creatively

In times of stress, people often look for certainty by retreating from difficult issues, without discussion or reflection. Such a path can be very dangerous. So leadership that exercises this strength encourages the community to think widely and explore options creatively in order to find new ways forward. It values divergent thinking, which may lead to fresh insights.

In exploring options such leadership encourages fresh ideas, curiosity and lateral thinking. Sometimes great ideas can come from the most unexpected sources; they can generate the fresh thinking needed for innovative solutions to the difficult problems the community is facing.

A learning community will value curiosity; it will refresh the ‘knowledge pool’ by continually introducing new ideas and new images for what it is about. Harnessing the ideas of as many people as possible, it is most likely to come up with the best ways forward. Curiosity, imagination and lateral thinking can generate new ideas, make new connections, and find new ways to look at old problems.

While it is only natural to seek certainty and familiarity – especially in the face of challenges, leaders with this strength will nurture an environment that encourages creative thinking and innovation.

Developing this strength:

  • develop questioning and reflection as part of the community’s life
  • value diversity, curiosity and crazy ideas
  • listen to those in contact with networks beyond the community
  • seek new ideas from a wide range of sources
  • develop a culture of learning
  • share in people’s questions rather than closing the questions down with off the cuff answers
  • support the dreamers and link them with the pragmatists
  • question the status quo, the way things have always been
  • create different types of forums of learning, discussion and planning

Explore options creatively - helping motivate people to discern new directions that the community might move in, by encouraging fresh ideas, curiosity and lateral thinking.

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