“Business has much to learn from the arts.” — From the Schumpeter Blog
As a pioneer in arts-based learning I’m happy to see this topic is being covered by The Economist. The Schumpeter blog argues that business and the arts have much to learn from each other, and it would be a good idea to overcome the schism between business and art.
The art of management is more than a metaphor — you can develop your leadership and management skills by learning from the arts:
- Artists can teach business about entrepreneurship: Whatever business people think of art by Damian Hirst, “they cannot help admiring a man who parted art-lovers from £70.5m ($126.5m) on the day that Lehman Brothers collapsed.”
- 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.