Sustainability and creativity are related, but they need a helping hand

Creating value for customers in a competitive business world, requires a creative and innovative attitude to improve products and services. To create value in a (more) sustainable way with respect to the social and natural environment requires a different approach. In line with the earlier Strategy Blogs this year this attitude is based on the underlying human and environmental values, and shows through leading by example.

For ethical business leaders and managers it is important to guide the company in the right direction by fostering an innovative-sustainability-based attitude. Research shows in this respect that ethical leadership is positively related to creativity and innovation. The amount of success in this field depends on the culture of the organization. Companies with an innovative culture have a stronger relationship between ethical leadership and creatitivity.

In innovative-sustainability-based companies it is important that people in the organization take responsibility for value creation, innovation and sustainability. This responsibility is not only on individual level but also on group level, where the most simple start can be is to give a helping hand to each other when looking for new ways to create sustainable value.


Norbert Bol


Chen, A. S. Y., & Hou, Y. H. (2016). The effects of ethical leadership, voice behavior and climates for innovation on creativity: A moderated mediation examination. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(1), 1-13.

Michel, J. W., & Tews, M. J. (2016). Does Leader–Member Exchange Accentuate the Relationship Between Leader Behaviors and Organizational Citizenship Behaviors?. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 23(1), 13-26.

Photo credit: bracchettosolitario via /CC BY-NC-ND

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