Mine the gold of wisdom and insight in your group through expertly facilitated arts-based dialogue and strategic conversations
Dialogue is the single-most important factor underlying the productivity and growth of the knowledge worker (the people who get paid to think). Ram Charan in his essay on “Conquering a Culture of Indecision,” (HBR 2001) said the root of business is relationships, and dialogue is the basic unit of work in an organization. Healthy relationships are at the heart of a company.
Dialogue is characterized by incisiveness, creativity, and synergizing diverse points of view into a cohesive understanding that illuminates new insights, enabling decision-making and action. The quality of dialogue determines the quality of idea generation, problem–solving and how people make decisions. How people feel about one another impacts the outcome of these decisions.
Art is an invitation to have a conversation
Art is an instrument for meaning-making, sense-making, image-making and creating deeper levels of conversation about what matters. Arts-based learning develops creativity, community and connection. Art forms may include drawing, painting, sculpting and storytelling,
Art is a potent catalyst for a deeper inquiry into business issues, providing the means for ‘artful reflection’ in organizational development. Through art, we can make it safe ask the deeper questions that lead to the emotional truth about a situation.
Art creates a bonding experience that facilitates collaboration and accelerates the ability to get to the heart of a problem. Collaborative art-making processes help nurture relationships between dissimilar groups, fostering an appreciation for diverse and pluralistic points of view.
The arts play vital roles in helping us find our authentic voice, and remembering who we are as human beings. I believe when we are in touch with our humanity, we envision better futures, make wiser decisions, and create sustainable enterprises.
Visual dialogue via Appreciative Inquiry
What is Appreciative Inquiry?
- A collaborative and rigorous search to identify and understand the individual’s or organization’s strengths, in order to
- imagine our highest hopes and greatest possibilities, to stimulate
- Co-construction of the ideal future, and
- Launch self-directed change and innovation
— Ronald Fry, PhD, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve
Visual dialogue is characterized by
- 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 or drawing and dialogue
- Designing strategies, actions and viable solutions.
- Discover shared meaning
- Discuss, compare and record insights. Look for the emerging story. What are the possibilities?
- Access collective intelligence
- Bring forth the future
- Artful reflection: Learning to decode complexity and ambiguity
- Methodologies for enhanced communication and connection
- Cultivating Creativity & Innovation
- Improving collaboration and teamwork
- Values creation and meaningful work
- Appreciative Inquiry and leading change
- Transforming corporate culture
- Capturing and visualizing tacit knowledge
- Idea-generating and problem-solving
Using the arts as a catalyst for transformation
Why Art? Reflections on Art and Leadership at a CEO Roundtable Retreat
Painting a Conversation: One leader’s reflection on the creative process