By: Max De Pree

Max De Pree was Chairman of the Board of Directors of Herman Miller, Inc., for very many years, and has the rare honor of having been elected to the National Business Hall of Fame. Max DePree is the author of several books on leadership such as

Leadership Jazz,

Leadership Is an Art, and

Called To Serve.


  1. Innovation is the lifeblood of an organization. Knowing how to lead and work with creative people requires knowledge and action that often goes against the typical organizational structure.

  2. Protect unusual people from bureaucracy and legalism typical of organizations.

  3. Be vulnerable to real surprise.

  4. Be wary of incremental changes they replace creativity and real innovation.

  5. Creative people are loyal to an idea and appear to be nonjoiners. Don't demand unreasonable personal or corporate loyalty.

  6. When you have real innovation, don't compromise.

  7. Set the example for how to live with eccentricity.

  8. Creative people need diverse experiences to do their work.

  9. Creative people need constraints.

  10. Creative people need to work with others of equal competence.


Inspirational Leader: 10 Roles          The Jazz of Innovation: 11 Practice Tips






Free Micro-course

10 slides

Leading Innovation


Free Micro-course

10 slides

The Jazz of Innovation


Leading Innovation

Creative Leadership

Creative Leadership DOs and DON'Ts

Inspirational Leadership

Inspiring People

Energizing Employees

10 Roles of an Inspirational Leader

Entrepreneurial leadership

25 Lessons from Jack Welch

Innovation Management

Managing Creativity

The Jazz of Innovation

Managing Innovation by Cross-functional Teams

SMART Innovation


Inspirational Business Plans

Successful Innovation

Innovation-friendly Organization

Creating a Culture for Innovation: 5 Strategies

Inspiring Culture

Managing Knowledge Workers

Eliminating Bureaucracy

Entrepreneurial Creativity


Cross-functional Expertise

Idea Management

Intellectual Cross-pollination


Letting the Best Idea Win

Loose-Tight Leadership