Creative Change Leadership, Part 2


Positive Leadership in Project Management


By Frank Saladis, PMP, LIMC, PMI Fellow

New York, NY, USA

Creative Change Leadership, as previously defined in Part 1 of this series topic, is “the ability to deliberately engage one’s imagination to define and guide a group towards a novel goal—a direction that is new for the group.

People in leadership positions are aware of the need to develop goals, set direction, and motivate their teams and constituents to move forward and achieve those goals. Imagination is necessary to develop those goals. Consider imagination as the first step in the creative process.

Imagination is defined as “the faculty or action of forming new ideas, or images or concepts of external objects that are not present to the senses. Another way to define it would be “the ability of the mind to be creative and resourceful.”

There is no doubt that the greatest leaders, the people who really make a difference, the ones who change the world, have exercised their creative abilities and their imagination.

According to an article by Teach Thought Staff, (8 Types Of Imagination (teachthought.com), there are eight types of imagination:

  1. Effectuative Imagination – Thiscombines information together to synergize new concepts and ideas. This type of imagination could be associated with people in new product development and R&D.
  1. Intellectual (or Constructive) Imagination – Utilized when considering and developing hypotheses from different pieces of information or pondering over various issues of meaning say in the areas of philosophy, management, or politics, etc. This may be associated with critical thinking – the analysis of available facts, evidence, observations, and arguments to form a judgement
  1. Fantasy Imagination – Creating and developing stories, pictures, poems, stage-plays, and the building of the esoteric (Esoteric – intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest). Fantasy Imagination is prevalent among musicians, song writers, and artists. Creativity and imagination are often associated with people who possess artistic talent.
  1. Empathy Imagination – This form of imaginationhelps a person understand, from an emotional perspective, what others are experiencing from their specific frame of reference. This can be associated with Emotional Intelligence – the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically:
  1. Strategic Imagination is concerned with vision. Looking into the future and asking what if? or attempting to visualize what could be. The ability to recognize and evaluate opportunities by turning them into mental scenarios. Strategic thinking may not generally be considered as the use of imagination but if you think about what is involved in strategic planning. You can see the connection. Strategic planning is a process used by organizations to identify its goals, the strategies necessary to accomplish those goals and the internal performance management system used to monitor and evaluate progress. Identifying goals and developing a view of what an organization could be is clearly the utilization of imagination. The key is to bring the visions created in the imagination to actual realization.


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Editor’s note: This article is one in a series on Positive Leadership in Project Management by Frank Saladis, PMP, PMI Fellow, popular speaker and author of books on leadership in project management published by Wiley and IIL in the United States. Frank is widely known as the originator of the International Project Management Day, the annual celebrations and educational events conducted each November by PMI members, chapters and organizations around the world.

How to cite this paper: Saladis, F. (2022). Creative Change Leadership Part 2; Positive Leadership in Project Management, series article. PM World Journal, Vol. XII, Issue I, January. Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/pmwj125-Jan2023-Saladis-creative-change-management-part-2.pdf

 About the Author

Frank P. Saladis

New York, USA


Frank P. Saladis, PMP, LIMC, PMI Fellow is a Consultant and Instructor / Facilitator within the project management profession and has over 35 years of experience in the IT, Telecom Installation and IT Project Management training environment. He is a senior consultant and trainer for the International Institute For Learning Inc. and has been involved in the development of several project management learning programs. Mr. Saladis has held the position of Project Manager for AT&T Business Communications Systems, National Project Manager for AT&T Solutions Information Technology Services and was a member of Cisco Systems Professional Services Project Management Advocacy Organization. His responsibilities included the development of Project Management Offices (PMO) and the development of internal training programs addressing project management skills and techniques.

He is a Project Management Professional and has been a featured presenter at the Project Management Institute ® Annual Symposiums, Project World, PMI World Congress, CMMA, and many PMI Chapter professional development programs. He is a past president of the PMI New York City Chapter and a Past-President of the PMI ® Assembly of Chapter Presidents. Mr. Saladis is a Co-Publisher of the internationally distributed newsletter for allPM.com, a project management information portal, and a contributor to the allPM.com project management website.

Mr. Saladis is the originator of International Project Management Day and has written numerous leadership and project management related articles. Mr. Saladis is also the author of the Project Management Workbook and PMP ® / CAPM ® Exam Study Guide that supplements Dr. Harold Kerzner’s textbook – Project Management, A Systems Approach to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling?, 9th Edition published by John Wiley & Sons and the author of Positive Leadership in Project Management, published by IIL Publishing. He is a member of the International Executive Guild and the NRCC Business Advisory Council. He has also held the position of Vice President of Education for the Global Communications Technology Specific Interest Group of PMI ® and holds a Master’s Certificate in Commercial Project Management from the George Washington University. Mr. Saladis received the prestigious Lynn Stuckenbrook Person of the Year Award from the Project management Institute in 2006 for his contributions to the organization and to the practice of project management.  He can be contacted at saladispmp@msn.com

To view other works by Frank Saladis, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at https://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/frank-p-saladis/