The SEV Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership (SEV CECL) was established in July 2018 at Alba Graduate Business School thanks to the founding donation of SEV (The Hellenic Federation of Enterprises).
Through its world-class research and stimulating dissemination, the SEV CECL aspires to be a force of excellence that will spread the values and practices of creative leadership in the Greek society and the rest of the world.
Its mission is to advance the generation and dissemination of cutting-edge knowledge about creative forms of leading in the third and fourth decades of the 21st century.
The SEV Center of Excellence holds an annual series of stimulating discussions with distinguished researchers and scholars in order to disseminate to students, executives, and the larger society cutting-edge and management-relevant knowledge about creativity and leadership.
Establishing at Alba a Centre of Excellence about the interplay between creativity and leadership stemmed from three main factors:
The growth and prosperity of business organizations and the larger society in Greece in the next two decades require the masterful transformation of mindsets, practices, and structures towards more creative and flexible ways of thinking, learning, working, and collaborating. Creative forms of leadership can play an immensely positive role towards this direction.
The interactive effects of globalization, the network economy, and artificial intelligence will continue to make older, low-creativity forms of executive jobs obsolete. In the next two decades, the intersection of creativity and leadership is likely to define the core work and the core professional identity of our students and alumni.
Since 1992, when it was founded through the joint initiative of SEV and the Hellenic Management Association, Alba’s mission has been “to educate visionary leaders of tomorrow who will act as agents of change and help shape the future business world by pushing forward the frontiers of knowledge related to the management of business organizations, while making that knowledge relevant to practitioners. Generating and disseminating knowledge represent our twin objectives.”
A quarter-of-a-century later, we can best serve our ever-inspirational mission by focusing a substantial part of our research, teaching, and executive development on the interplay between creativity and leadership and its transformative impact on the work and the world of the future.
What is a Center of Excellence?
Why a Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership?
Since 2009 and during an extremely adverse decade for the education, the economy, and the society in Greece, Alba adapted boldly and proactively by creating springboards of research and teaching excellence in the areas of creativity and leadership.
This effort has resulted in a rich stream of research activities, academic courses, and executive development programs that today permeate the identity and operations of the School. Our work in this area has received international recognition of the highest caliber, including:
Research: our research in the areas of creativity and leadership has received two of the most prestigious honors in the international field of management research:
Teaching: in 2015 Alba was awarded the MBA Innovation Award by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), the global accrediting body of MBA degrees. AMBA’s announcement stated that “The award was in recognition of the uniqueness and impact of the innovative approach of Creative Expression in Business in The Alba MBA.”
The award acknowledged two components of the MBA program: the core Creativity & Innovation course (taught by Professor Mainemelis) and the capstone course Management Acts: A Theatrical Integration (taught by Professor Epitropaki in collaboration with Professors Nikolopoulou and Sanchez-Coldberg from Deree’s Frances Rich School of Fine & Performing Arts).
Creative Leadership explained by Dr. Mainemelis, Director of SEV Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership
The SEV Center of Excellence supports the efforts of resident Alba faculty and visiting fellows in performing world-class basic research in the areas of creativity and leadership. Our basic research output comprises books, journal articles, and conference presentations.
The SEV Center of Excellence supports the efforts of resident Alba faculty and visiting fellows in conducting high-quality applied research about the manifestations of creative leadership in organizations operating in Greece.
In 2019-2020 the Center’s applied research focused on the theme of Best Practices of Creative Leadership in Greek Organizations.
Creative leadership plays a pivotal role in the creation and evolution of adaptive organizations. The purpose of the Center’s 2019-2020 applied research cycle was to identify the best practices of creative leadership in Greece. The qualitative research was conducted between November 2019 and April 2020 in a sample of 20 companies. Building upon the extant international organizational literature, the study examined in details the skills, competencies, and processes related to three distinct contexts of creative leadership: Facilitative, Directive, and Integrative. Consistent with the Center’s mission of spreading the values and practices of creative leadership in Greece, the final report summarizes the main research findings about the manifestation of the three different expressions of creative leadership among Greek organizations.
The final research report can be accessed here .
In 2020-2021 the Center’s applied research examines the theme of Creative Tradition as a Source of Competitiveness and Innovation.
Dr. Mainemelis on the applied research of the SEV Center of Excellence
Spreading novel trends, insights and practices
The purpose of the Center’s Annual Symposium is to spread novel, solid, and practice-relevant insights, trends, and practices about creative leadership.
The concept of the Annual Symposium combines three main elements: A fresh, cutting-edge idea on creative leadership, published in a premier international management research outlet no older than 5 years; Greek exemplars from carefully selected organizations who embody this idea; a stimulating dissemination of insights about the idea and its practical applications – and implications – around the globe and, most importantly, Greece.
The Lead Creatively: Discussion Series is designed to stimulate discussions with distinguished researchers and scholars in order to disseminate to students, executives, and the larger society cutting-edge and management-relevant knowledge about creativity and leadership.
The Lead Creatively: Discussion Series is hosted by the Center’s Director, Professor Mainemelis.
The governance of the SEV Center of Excellence in Creative Leadership consists of a tripartite steering committee comprised by a representative member of SEV, the Dean of Alba Graduate Business School, and the Director of the Center.
The members of the steering committee are:
Dr. Charalampos (Babis) Mainemelis is Professor of Organizational Behavior at Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece, where he directs The SEV Centre of Excellence in Creative Leadership. Since 2004 he has been Visiting Professor at Porto Business School. From 2001 to 2009 he was Assistant Professor at London Business School. His research focuses on creativity and its relations with leadership, play, deviance, and tradition. His work has been published in leading academic journals, such as the Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Annals, Research in Organizational Behavior, Leadership Quarterly, Human Relations, Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, Journal of Management Inquiry, Creativity Research Journal, and the Journal of Organizational Change Management. His research has been widely profiled in the popular press, including the Financial Times, Sunday Times, Forbes, and Kathimerini. Professor Mainemelis is the recipient of Academy of Management Review's Best Article Award (2010) and finalist of Academy of Management Annals's Best Article Award (2015). He is a member of the Editorial Board of Academy of Management Review and recipient of its Outstanding Reviewer Award (2009) and Outstanding Editorial Member Reviewer Award (2014). He has delivered graduate courses, executive education seminars, and public speeches in the USA, UK, South Africa, South Korea, Dubai, Kuwait, Oman, Greece, Portugal, France, Serbia, Netherlands, and Denmark. At ALBA, his “Creativity & Innovation” course was co-awarded the 2015 MBA Innovation Award by the Association of MBAs. Professor Mainemelis is a member of the Academy of Management, the American Psychological Association, the Creative Education Foundation and the European Group for Organizational Studies.view more
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