030 The Bath Perspective The Role of the Leader in Innovative Efforts Dr Dawn Eubanks In the 21st century many organizations are looking for ways of gaining the competitive edge through the implementation of a clever idea: in essence, using creativity and innovation to help drive economic growth. Research on creativity and innovation has been extensive since the middle of the twentieth century with many reviews being written about what helps and hinders creativity and innovation. While many have speculated on creativity – the generation of novel and useful ideas and innovation – the implementation of those ideas, few have examined the role of the leader, believing that the leader should step back and allow the creativity to flow. Leadership researchers are beginning to take a different stance on this, explaining that the leader indeed has a critical role in the creative process. One highly visible creative effort underway that provides an interesting illustration of the innovative process is the development of a viable electric car. While the first automobiles were in fact electric, petrol powered cars proved a less expensive alternative. With realizations of environmental change upon us and the auto industry in distress, manufacturers are making investments toward the development of an electric car that proves a worthy rival to its petrol powered alternative. Auto manufacturers are racing to develop the best electric car. The most successful will be the one that is the easiest to integrate into our current infrastructure and one with the fewest hurdles in terms of use (i.e. amount of time before a charge is needed).