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Leading innovation – resolving creativity’s paradoxes

Brian Leavy (Dublin City University Business School ( and a Strategy & Leadership Contributing Editor)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 10 June 2019

Issue publication date: 23 July 2019




Corporate innovation is an often misunderstood process, largely because managing it successfully requires inherently contradictory aims, such as control and freedom. This article looks at a variety of approaches by leading authorities.


A number of recent books have examined the paradoxical tensions at the heart of the innovation process. The article assesses the guidance they offer practitioners on how to manage a process replete with conflict and contradictions.


Several authors suggest unconventional approaches to unleash the talents of individuals and groups in ways that are productive for the organization.

Practical implications

One of the main challenges in leading innovation is to cultivate both cohesion and dissent.


This masterclass is a useful primer for practitioners leading an innovation initiative.



Leavy, B. (2019), "Leading innovation – resolving creativity’s paradoxes", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 47 No. 4, pp. 12-19.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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