Develop Artful Leadership skills using an arts-based learning approach to foster creativity and innovation in your organization

Whenever you have no blueprint to tell you in detail what to do, you must work artfully. 

—Rob Austin and Lee Devin

Discover what art & design can teach business about creativity and innovation

Being a leader in the 21st century requires a new set of skills to thrive in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain and complex. Relying solely on problem-solving skills is insufficient. Today’s leaders must also cultivate creativity and the ability to navigate complexity in order to thrive. One of the best ways to learn these skills is through the arts—not to become an artist, but as a way of thinking and perceiving.

The best way to learn 21st Century leadership skills is through arts-based learning and design-thinking processes

An artful leader must know how to lead people creatively. Since all great art pushes boundaries beyond established norms, it can teach us about leadership, empathy, ambiguity, change, courage, and creativity. It makes sense therefore to learn principles and practices from the worlds of art & design, and apply them to business.

The arts take us on adventures in creative expression that help us safely explore unknown territory, overcome fear, and take conceptual risks. Art-making has an alchemical effect on the imagination. Artistic processes create a crucible for transforming leaden thinking into the gold of wisdom.

Art-based activities can be used strategically to create safety, build trust, find shared values, shift perceptions and generate breakthrough ideas — by combining right-brain imagination with left-brain logic and analysis. Insights from art experiences inform leadership and inspire breakthrough ideas for innovation.

Explore the arts as an interdisciplinary catalyst for transformation in culture, creativity, identity, and your own personal development as a leader.

The Art of Leadership:
Shifting from a Problem-focused Model
to Artful Creation

Art provides an opportunity for kaleidoscopic thinking. Each time we shift the lens of our perceptions, we gain new perspectives — and new opportunities for innovation. Arts based activities include drawing, painting, storytelling, theatre improvisation, music, photography and poetry.

Art can be used to penetrate the “heart questions” making it easier to discuss strategic dilemmas. Arts-based dialogue teaches leaders to look at an issue from multiple perspectives, make sense of the world we inhabit. Artful reflection helps us sense patterns, decode complexity, make sense of the world in which we live, and explore new possibilities.

The art experience enhances our abilities to think in new and fresh ways about existing reality through critical reflection, reframing, and context shifting. The blank canvass becomes a metaphor for discovering the white space of opportunities. Visual dialogues help people dig below the surface layer of perception, examine the figure/ground of underlying assumptions and evoke fresh thinking. Theatre improvisation gives leaders rehearsal space to try out new ideas. Through Improv that we can observe the importance of trust, reliance, and individual contribution, as well as the vitality of learning from mistakes. We can discover creative insights by building, shaping and sculpting ideas into prototypes to test concepts.

Learn crucial discovery skills
used by the world’s great artists, designers,
scientists and innovators:

  • Inquiry that provokes new insights, connections, possibilities, and directions
  • Visual Literacy and Observation: The ability to observe, think critically and make meaning from images and information presented
  • Cross-pollinating ideas: Thinking together, across cultures, networks and disciplines
  • Connecting: Linking ideas that aren’t obviously related. Connecting the unconnected to produce new ideas
  • Experimenting intellectually and experientially. Learning by doing. Rehearsing “what if” options that lead to meaningful insights
  • Active Listening: Listening to learn, rather than gather ammunition for an argument
  • Reflecting through painting, contemplation, journal writing and dialogue to integrate theory with practice, and enhance learning, including learning from mistakes
  • Designing strategies, actions and viable solutions.

Each activity is tied to an organizational objective/challenge to stimulate fresh ideas about real-world challenges.

Learning Outcomes & Benefits:

  • How art and design can improve business performance
  • Draw on artistic sensibilities to lead and run your organization.
  • Practical creativity techniques for individuals and groups
  • Develop a whole-brain approach to leadership: Combining right-brain artistic and relational intelligence with left-brain analytical and operational intelligence.
  • Rehearse “what if” options that lead to meaningful insights regarding change.
  • Creativity and innovation skills development
  • Improve communications and foster an appreciation for diverse and pluralistic points of view.
  • How to foster an innovation ecosystem
  • Greater agility in coping with chaos, ambiguity, and complexity
  • Paint a compelling vision of the future, and design a plan for action

Programs are customized to suit your organizational requirements, and include coaching support.
Designed for :

  • C-level executives
  • Directors, Managers & Team Leaders

Put creativity to work. Contact us today

Find out how you can leverage arts based learning in your organization.
Contact us today

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