Through this blog I continue to expand on arts-based learning in organizational development, first published in Orchestrating Collaboration at Work, a training book I co-authored with Arthur VanGundy. I welcome our comments and insights. My  interest is in meta-disciplinary learning through the interplay of business, art, design and science,  for the purpose of making life and work a work of art.

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, best known for his research on creativity, and his book Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience says

“How we choose what we do, and how we approach it…will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art.”

How can we bring more artistry into life and work? What principles can we live by and put into practice so that we do make life and work a work of art? Work is meaningful when we add to the quality of life to those around us and work is a vehicle for our creations to be a blessing to the world.

Art for me is soul food. Art-making is meditation in action. It nourishes my craving for beauty, clarity and harmony. By beauty, I include the full scope of aesthetics — that is, the beauty of meaning-making, when all the parts come together to create a whole, or when clues are combined to solve a mystery.

It’s about finding elegant solutions to problems we face. It’s the profound simplicity we discover on the other side of complexity, once we’ve dug through our messes. Artful creation involves Intention, Attention, Aesthetics, Meaning-making and Purpose.

Artistic qualities such as finding beauty, meaning, balance, harmony, emotional truth, mastery, elegance, melody, rhythm, metaphor, symbolism and composition, can be applied to other aspects of our lives. Dr Thomas Bechtler, Director of Credit Suisse Group (ADR) notes,

A work of art is always a condensation of complex reality. So art can be a means through which one learns to perceive an intricate solution through a simplified image.” (From Art for Work by Marjory Jacobson, HBR press, 1993)

We need the transformative experiences the arts give us to thrive in a world of change. We need time to reflect, a safe space for experimentation, and meaningful dialogue. Innovators need access to multiple ways for knowing, which art and science provide.The artist Paul Klee once said, A line is a dot that went for a walk.” I hope you will find interesting trajectories here…


Linda Naiman
Corporate Alchemist


Please note that guest posts to this blog are by invitation only.

I receive inquiries almost daily about guest posts from people who want to be guest contributors for this blog, and unfortunately I cannot respond to everyone. Thank you.

Updated Jan 16, 2020