Corporate arts-based learning draws on the arts as a pathway to explore non-art topics such as leadership, change, and innovation in business

Art is an invitation to have a conversation about matters of importance to your business

The goal of arts-based learning is to create immersive learning experiences to help leaders and teams gain new insights and perspectives about business challenges — to open your mind, re-kindle your imagination, solve problems with creative resilience and approach the future with optimism.

We cannot find all the answers to our challenges in the world of the rational, logical, and scientific. Consequently, the arts are emerging as a role model for business to adopt. Through art, we can make it safe to ask the deeper questions that lead to the emotional truth about a situation.

Art making helps us quiet the mind and put us in touch with our inner wisdom. The art making process takes people out of the realm of analytical thinking and into the realm of silence, reverie, and heightened awareness.

Art creates a bonding experience that facilitates collaboration and accelerates the ability get to the heart of a problem. Drawing or painting images illustrates how differently we see things, and helps us appreciate that many points of view contribute to the whole. Images externalize the unconscious and make tacit knowledge visible.

Arts-based activities can be used strategically to create safety, build trust, find shared values, and shift perceptions. Combining right-brain imagination with left-brain logic and analysis increases the capacity for breakthrough ideas and insights that lead to success.

Combine arts-based learning with whole-brain creativity and design thinking to improve your creative skills.

Examples of Visual Arts-Based Learning Activities

Art as a catalyst for deeper inquiry into matters of importance to leaders. Pose questions leaders grapple with, but instead of discussing verbally, small groups draw, paint, or sculpt the topic via visual dialogue. They create symbolic or metaphoric images of the current state, the ideal and how to bridge the gap. This is followed by artful reflection and dialogue. The real art is in the conversation

Visual Dialogues: Explore your creative thinking styles through painting a conversation rather than speaking. Helps build bridges, bonds teams, and expands their understanding of the roles they play in the creative process. Useful in discussions about identity, and clarifying values regarding business challenges such as stewardship, sustainability, and leadership.

Visual Intelligence: Observation is a primary discovery skill of the Innovator’s DNA. Learn to slow down to look and see what you wouldn’t notice at 1st glance. Paying attention to details, patterns, making meaning and discovering new insights. Experience the power of observation in a group.

Oracular thinking. This activity is derived from the Delphic Oracle and  Native Vision Quest traditions, where seekers learn to decode clues around them to find insights. Participants learn to make connections between random stimuli—pictures and objects, to spark new thoughts/insights towards solving problems.

Workshop Design

  • Short lectures and discussions are wrapped around practical exercises throughout the course. Immerse yourself in multi-sensory experiences across a range of artistic disciplines as a means of activating your creativity.
  • Each activity is tied to an organizational objective/challenge to stimulate fresh ideas about real-world challenges. The art experience enhances our abilities to think in new and fresh ways about existing reality through critical reflection, reframing, and context shifting.

Benefits of arts-based learning/corporate training

  • Art-based practices help leaders and teams to see beyond the obvious to push beyond established norms and boundaries and generate new ideas.
  • Aesthetic Inquiry that provokes new insights, connections, possibilities, and directions: Gain insights about coping with chaos, ambiguity, and complexity
  • 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
  • Reframe problems in order to generate new perspectives.
  • Learning by doing. Taking conceptual risks.
  • Active Listening: Listening to learn, rather than gather ammunition for an argument
  • Improve communications and foster an appreciation for diverse and pluralistic points of view.
  • Paint a compelling vision of the future, and design a plan for action
  • How to inspire and engage your team in collaborative creativity
  • Integrate Artistic and relational intelligence with analytical and operational intelligence.
  • Experience art as a process for self-discovery.
  • Artful reflection enables a deeper inquiry into matters of importance in your life and business.
  • How to use the arts to enhance teamwork, collaboration, design thinking, and creativity for innovation
  • Enhance teamwork, collaboration, design thinking, and creativity for innovation

Art–based learning can be used in business to enhance:

  • Leadership insights and new perspectives
  • Inspire Creativity & Innovation
  • Design Thinking modalities
  • Resilience, Flourishing & Well-being
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Shared understanding of Values
  • Appreciative Inquiry and leading change
  • Strategic Conversations
  • Culture change
  • New product development
  • Idea-generation and problem-solving

See also:

Selected Clients:

Clients range from Fortune 500 companies to public sector organizations and non-profits.

CAW clients