Many organisations are under increasing pressures to recruit and retain creative individuals as a core asset in the emerging knowledge economy. In universities, such people are often academics who focus on high impact, innovative and interdisciplinary research. Yet, instead of feeling supported, many of these academics face structural, epistemological and socio-cultural challenges. This paper reviews the role of creativity across disciplines in higher education and draws on interviews of 10 senior interdisciplinary leaders from the UK and Australia to discuss motivational aspects of creativity, challenges of pursuing creative work and how creativity through interdisciplinarity can be supported in higher education. Leadership styles based on the various conceptions of creativity are proposed and further research is discussed.