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'Creative Leaders'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Rene Magritte - 'Le Principe Du Plaisir'

What are the main features that distinguish creative leaders?

Creative leaders:      

  • Explore - express and try new trends in society, whether it is technology, art, even new products, services, etc.·        
  • They steal an idea, as the artist does, recreating and repositioning, presenting it through his/her own vision.·        
  • They operate through critical thinking, because their mind is always in a creative process.·        
  • They connect and bridge the present with the past and the future, the old with the new, and they are curious about what is surrounding them by seeking the unexplored, as artists do. ·        
  • They try to transform others by setting an example.·        
  • Create space for shared experiences.·        
  • They can change our lives virtually, having the ability to come up with ideas to solve problems and exploit opportunities.·        
  • Convert creative ideas into new products and services.·        
  • They have imagination, curiosity, authenticity and are reformers.·        
  • Approach and attract the right people, at the right times, to the right level for the implementation of the project.·        
  • They allow their team to be more creative and they set the right example for their group. ·        
  • They constantly ask questions, have their own identity and are not afraid to argue with the traditional thinking.·        
  • Accept the inevitable and the value of failure, create psychological security to maximize learning from failure, recognize the different levels of failure and how it can be useful, and the value of the second chance.
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‘All are Cs, from Critical thinking, Complex problem solving, Communication, Collaboration to ….Curiosity, Criticism, Cognitive flexibility and Connection’. (Part 2)

Written by Mike Petrakis.

Wassily Kandinsky - 'Transverse Lines', 1923

‘Complex problem solving and Communication’

According to the Oxford dictionary, Problem Solve is to find a solution to a difficult or complex question or situation; to engage in the actions or thoughts necessary to discover solutions to problems. Also with the aim: to think out, grapple with, or solve (a problem).

Problem Solving is the process of finding solutions to difficult or complex issues whose origin is back in 1950s was found in The New York Times. From problem + solve, after problem-solving [adjective], problem-solver.

 “Problems are nothing but wake-up calls for creativity” – Gerhard Gschwandtner *Author of ‘The Sales Question Book’).

It is not a matter of not having a complex problem (I think this is completely reasonable), but not having to deal again with the same problem that you had to deal in the past, proving that you didn't resolved it.

There is no solution without a problem and there is no problem with no solution, in business, art, science...

Solving problems requires enrichment and diversity in the people who will work together, on how to approach the problem-s through the conciliation environment and to view it from different angles. The problem in companies - organizations and at individual level, is that they start to look for answers rather than to find initial questions. Furthermore companies and all of us at personal level should be receptive to every question and point of view.

 “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

In my opinion, problems are opportunities and the canvas for creativity to be painted on/over.

A very significant part is to understand of the complex situation in which the problem occurs, so that we can pinpoint exactly what the problem is. We observe these situations, and then review some useful, well-established problem-solving frameworks.

There are four basic steps in solving a problem:


Having good, strong problem solving skills can make a great difference for organization and at individual level.

Problems are at the center of what we do at work and in our everyday lives. Whether we are solving a problem for a client (internal or external), supporting those who are solving problems, or discovering new problems to solve, the problems we face can be large or small, simple or complex, and easy or difficult.

Keys and steps for a team on approaching and resolving the problem-s.

  • Use people who want to challenge themselves and are able to take risks.
  • Create a staff with diverse backgrounds.
  • Embrace and motivate people/employees/team to enrich their education.
  • Challenge people/employees/team with projects beyond their comfort zone.
  • Add Creativity on every level!!!
  • Be opened to every possible question and solution.

The key to a good problem definition is ensuring that you deal with the real problem – not its symptoms.

In many cases at collaborative level, I use tools like Brainstorming and Design Thinking as a basis for finding solutions… and of course Creativity, with many creative processes and workshops.

But I will repeat it… Questions, questions, questions…Through the 5 basic elements of research questions.


Focusing on the most important words, concepts, elements of soft skills starting with the letter C, next is communication and if we move beyond C to Com, apart from Communication, is Commercial, Company, Commute, Come, Community, Compare, etc, which are also Important words and elements in Entrepreneurship and Business. Communication in Business is about the sharing of information between people within an company that is performed for the commercial benefit of the organization. In addition, business communication can also refer to how a company shares information to promote its product or services to potential consumers. 

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.“ – Epictetus (Greek Stoic Philosopher). 

According to a recent study, companies with good communication practices are three and a half times more likely to outperform their competitors and possessing or developing excellent communication skills will help business leaders and their teams in every facet of business operations.



1.  Source

The source is the person (or thing) attempting to share information and the ability to transmit this information, through a channel, to a receiver.

2.  Ideas

This may be an opinion, attitude, feelings, views, orders, or suggestions.

3.  Encoding

Encoding is the process of assembling the message (information, ideas and thoughts) into a representative design with the objective of ensuring that the receiver can comprehend it. It's realization requires the use of certain symbols such as words, actions or pictures etc.

4.  Channel

An encoded message is conveyed by the source through a channel.  There are numerous channel categories: verbal, non-verbal, personal, non-personal, etc.  A channel is the material and texture and a good communicator is one who understands which channels to use under different circumstances. 

5.  Receiver

Receiver is the person who receives the message or for whom the message is meant for and tries to understand the message in the best possible manner in achieving the desired objectives

6.  Decoding

The person who receives the message, symbol or picture from the communicator tries to convert the same in such a way so that he may extract its meaning to his complete understanding. Decoding is impossible if the decoder cannot even understand the message.

7.  Feedback

Feedback is the process of ensuring that the receiver has received the message and understood it in the same sense as the sender meant it. Similar words might be “reaction” or “responses” and the source judges its success based on the feedback it receives, so pay close attention.

For a successful personal communication, an important role does also play the way people interact, including elements like the tone of the voice they use, how much they gesture, and their ability to listen or interrupt.

To communicate also needs to be-come a Good Learner with elements as I mentioned on a previous post, such as Critical Thinking, Receptiveness, Acceptance and <Collection>, Emotional Intelligence, Cognitive Flexibility, Focus and Respect, Connection (with Ideas, people, things and things etc).

I will write more about these two topics in following posts.

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"Art InSide Business" video presentation

Written by Mike Petrakis.

In today’s growing competition at the social and professional level requires new forms and paths to drive organizations/companies and at personal level, more sophisticated and enriched processes, respecting the vision and values of each organization. (Company, institution and individual).

‘Art InSide Business’ program, provides multifaceted services to enhance the needs and goals of each organization, through artistic processes and the many common elements of Art and Business.

‘We create artistic Leaders and Entrepreneurs, to learn how to successful connect with Ideas, elements, customers, things, colleagues, society, innovation. Leaders who know how to manage bright people...raising questions, connecting different people and with the world.’ –

Mike Petrakis (Co Founder Director at ‘Art InSide Business’, Artist, Lecturer).

‘Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.’- Pablo Picasso (Artist)

More info at www.mikepetrakis.com



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‘All are Cs, from Critical thinking, Complex problem solving, Communication, Collaboration to ….Curiosity, Criticism, Cognitive flexibility and Connection’. (Part 1)

Written by Mike Petrakis.

'All are Cs'

I started my new blog ABC (Art, Business, Creativity) with my first post titled All are Cs, continuing with the most important element of every person and organization also in our everyday life and in business, which is creativity.

Continuing with my next post titled, ‘Creativity and Leadership’.

Now I will continue with other important skills with an equally significant role and value, Critical thinking, Complex problem solving, Communication, Collaboration, Criticism, Curiosity, Cognitive flexibility, Connection.

Yes the most important words-elements, characteristics, skills in today's world and market (also for the future), starts from the letter C. Every C word is a different Color which in ultimate balance and function, create the ultimate canvas of a successful leader, employee and are very basic materials for the successful operation and development of every organization.

Regarding to 'Critical Thinking', as a mental and emotional function, it is based on concrete bases for the proper assessment, analysis of information we receive and then to <kneading> and calculate all this… (information). In my seminars and lectures, the education on critical thinking is continuous as well as <transferring> it outside of the seminar’s space with various workshops and directions that I give to the participants so to create a balance between workspace and Life Entrepreneurship, practicing the mind and personality how to learn to research and study.

In fact, this is my constant advice to large companies that I have collaborated who are facing some crisis about their understanding and communication with their clients. I always mention them and go through my training, to reinvent themselves and act as a startup company, focusing on the rapprochement of their public, the society, their products and services.

At the same time, this process increases receptivity and acceptance, through the elaboration of the continuous assessment of the surrounding elements

Τhe basic elements and stages of Critical thinking are:

'Elements of Critical Thinking'

Mike Petrakis

Next post is about Complex problem solving and Communication.

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'Art & Business commons'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

 A & B the first two letters of the alphabet. They are both the first two letters of the most significant elements of our society,             Art and Business.

Their collaboration and co-operation is very necessary and can strengthen our present and future in many ways, through this             two-way operation.

Below I quote some of the common elements of both.

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'Creative Management'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

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'Creativity and Leadership 2'

Written by Mike Petrakis.

‘All are Cs’ – ‘Creative Leadership’ Part 4

Real Leaders drawing on the Right Minds

Rene Magritte -  'Le Fils de L'Homme'

Following the series of articles about the Creative Leadership and how Leaders must treat themselves and the people who are engaged and collaborate with them, they need to rely more than ever on the intelligence and resourcefulness of their staff. Collaboration is not a “nice to have” organizational philosophy. It is an essential ingredient for organizational survival and success.

The first priority of leadership is to engage the right people, at the right times, to the right degree in creative work. That engagement starts when the leader recasts the role of employees. Rather than simply roll up their sleeves and execute top-down strategy, employees must contribute with imagination.

Creative Leaders must have the capacity to enable their teams to be more creative and to be the right example, influencing their people.

This involves, allowing people to work out their own way of being creative. Again, the creativity profiling tools work really well here in helping people understand their approach to creativity.

The practice of leadership is setting the right example, providing vision and guidance and doing everything that is necessary for the people in the organization to succeed. The really difficult part for the Art of leadership is, knowing what to do and when, why, and how to do it and this needs practice.

Left Brain Right Brain thinking skills for Creativity & Innovation

  1. Analytical intelligence includes how you frame a problem. Also how you evaluate an idea, including critical thinking.
  2. Artistic intelligence includes using your imagination, visual thinking, and how you envision possibilities.
  3. Relational intelligence includes how your idea connects or impacts others within a system. Also how you collaborate and co-create with others.
  4. Operational intelligence includes planning and organizing; how you turn an idea into action.

 Creative Leaders know that we live in Connection Economy, and they understand that they have to learn to connect to everything that surrounds them.

For leaders, the administration of responsibility and execution of tasks may not be glamorous, but it is essential. Without a strong attention to detail and adherence to goals and objectives, organizations go awry. At the same time a leader needs to manage not just detail but also people. Managing people involves putting them into positions where they can succeed and supporting them in that effort.

As with so many things in life, leaders need to pick their moments. Not every situation calls for a leader to act; sometimes a leader does more by standing back and letting the team decide what to do. Though, in times of crisis, the leader may need to be front and center, making decisions, providing hands-on advice, and taking action to help get things done. Knowing what to do and when to do it, comes with experience, but knowing how to act and the degree of involvement to use is something that cannot be prescribed exactly; it will be perceived by others as an art form.

Leaders work, react, connect through diversity and allow people to pursue their passions, also to tap ideas from all ranks, they are curious with everything and the most important, connect the seemingly unconnected.


Creative Leaders like Artists, give us a taste of the mystery and help make sense of the world, also they do not view the world through Scarcity.

Great Leaders like Great Artists have their own style, their own trade mark and they are not copying.

Creative Leader engagement:

Asks inspiring questions, allowing ideas to bubble up from the workforce, helps others succeed, use metaphors, analogies, and stories—to help teams conceptualize together and get people with different backgrounds and expertise to work together.

Encourage individuals to gain diverse experiences that will increase their creativity and  provide sufficient time and resources for exploration.

Accept the inevitability and utility of failure, create psychological safety to maximize learning from failure, recognize the different kinds of failure and how they can be useful and create good mechanisms for filtering ideas without killing dead-end projects.

Motivate others with intellectual challenge, clear paths through the bureaucracy for creative ideas, allow people to do ‘good work’, show the higher purpose of projects whenever possible.

Creative Leaders should always ask questions to themselves, in order to continue progress. Some example questions are:

  • Are you constantly looking for new goals, something new to accomplish?
  • Do you like to look at what already exists and ask “What if?”
  • When you try something new and different, does it make you feel smarter?
  • Do you enjoy teaching someone a new skill?
  • Are you good at problem solving?

 Some other topics and advices for Art Leadership are:

  • Asking why.
  • Thinking of new ways to do things. Don’t be afraid to challenge traditional thinking. (Just like thinking outside of the box).
  • Maintain the motivation.
  • When something challenges or strikes your interest, go with it and find the twist.
  • Study the arts and artists, whose reason-for-being is to look at what everyone else is looking at and see what no one else sees.


 Topics of ‘Art InSide Business’ seminars for Creative Leadership

  • Develop Creative Self-Confidence.
  • Develop Creative Personal Marketing Skills.
  • Develop EQ (Emotional Intelligence) and connect it with IQ.
  • Seminar about Acceptability, Acceptance, and <Collection of things>.
  • Develop an automated - unconscious reaction and more <sophisticated> dealing between executives, business partners and employees.
  • Develop and create better working conditions.
  • Focusing on elements and skills that will dominate in Business on 2020, in line with the World Economic Forum, such as Critical Thinking, Complex Problem Solving, Emotional Intelligence, Crisis and Decision Making, Cognitive Flexibility.
  • Many workshops for performance at a practical level (Practicum is of great importance for organizations-companies), better assimilation of objectives and seminars of the program.
  • Observing, Questioning, Associating Networking, Experimenting.
  • Focus on making the participants/Leaders to become innovate also in their everyday lives.
  • Creating questions for Innovation.
  • Development of <Adaptability>.
  • Seminars to connect different elements and things and how to use more successful image/pictures at social media.
  • Seminars for better engagement with customers.

Mike Petrakis

 Next articles, ‘Creative Management’, ‘All are Cs’ (Part 5), ‘How Images help us to understand and communicate’, ‘Art and Business commons’.

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