“Business has much to learn from the arts.”
As a pioneer in arts-based learning I’m happy to see this topic is being covered by The Economist, albeit with slight hesitation. The Schumpeter blog describes a scenario akin to two solitudes dancing, and the worlds of art and business have much to teach each other.
The art of management is more than a metaphor. Here are a few excerpts about what business can learn from the arts:
Studying the arts can help businesspeople communicate more eloquently. Most bosses spend a huge amount of time “messaging” and “reaching out”, yet few are much good at it. Their prose is larded with clichés and garbled with gobbledegook. Half an hour with George Orwell’s “Why I Write” would work wonders.
Studying the arts can also help companies learn how to manage bright people. Publishers coax books out of tardy authors. Directors persuade actresses to lock lips with actors they hate. Their tips might be worth hearing.
Studying the art world might even hold out the biggest prize of all—helping business become more innovative. Companies are scouring the world for new ideas (Procter and Gamble, for example, uses “crowdsourcing” to collect ideas from the general public). They are also trying to encourage their workers to become less risk averse (unless they are banks, of course). In their quest for creativity, they surely have something to learn from the creative industries.
Find out more about arts-based learning for leaders and managers on my blog.
Read an excerpt from “Orchestrating Collaboration at Work: Using Music, Improv, Storytelling, and Other Arts to Improve Teamwork” to help non-artists use the arts in business as a means of learning about creativity, collaboration and leadership.
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Copyright 2011 Creativity at Work