This short video from my UCD colleague Professor Niamh Brennan discusses culture and psychology in the board room. A useful primer for anyone sitting (or […]
…however much an organization officially celebrates out-of-box thinking, people are going to associate leadership and creativity the way they associate fish and bicycles. So being […]
I’ve been interested in Professor Michael Wesch’s teaching methods for some time and have followed his use of social media in the classroom (via social media […]
I heard the two men talking about a third old man who had recently died. One of them said, “I was visiting him at his […]
I’m looking forward to hosting the European Regional Meeting of the ISPSO at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin this week. We will have 40 […]
Super graphic from Torben Rick on what’s going on below the surface regarding change.
I keep returning to Margaret Heffernan’s TED talk on constructive and creative conflict. Her invitation (one with which I agree) is to consider conflict a […]
The second part of my conversation with Charlie Taylor at the Irish Times focussed on perks at work. Are free sandwiches, gym membership etc enough […]
ARTISTS routinely deride businesspeople as money-obsessed bores. Or worse. Every time Hollywood depicts an industry, it depicts a conspiracy of knaves. Think of “Wall Street” (which damned finance), “The Constant Gardener” (drug firms), “Super Size Me” (fast food), “The Social Network” (Facebook) or “The Player” (Hollywood itself). Artistic critiques of business are sometimes precise and well-targeted, as in Lucy Prebble’s play “Enron”. But often they are not, as those who endured Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story” can attest.
Many businesspeople, for their part, assume that artists are a bunch of pretentious wastrels. Bosses may stick a few modernist daubs on their boardroom walls. They may go on corporate jollies to the opera. They may even write the odd cheque to support their wives’ bearded friends. But they seldom take the arts seriously as a source of inspiration.
The bias starts at business school, where “hard” things such as numbers and case studies rule. It is reinforced by everyday experience. Bosses constantly remind their underlings that if you can’t count it, it doesn’t count. Quarterly results impress the stockmarket; little else does.
So begins the Economist’s Schumpeter blog – the art of management – which describes the ‘thaw’ taking place in the business world regarding the arts and what they may have to offer business – managing ‘difficult’ people among them
Directors persuade actresses to lock lips with actors they hate. Their tips might be worth hearing.
But perhaps more importantly the article makes the point that arts organisations and artists have been used to problem solving, working with egos, adopting and adapting to change, getting the show up and running, satisfying customers and in many cases making substantial amounts of money. Our newfound interest in renewal and regeneration post-apocalyptic-economic-meltdown may be lip service but might (just might) amount to a different way of integrating these two worlds which have much more in common that is often imagined. If business schools (as outlined in the article) are finally willing to learn from the arts then it (hopefully) won’t be long before governments realise that funding the arts is as much of an investment in the future as funding universities, research and job creation plans. Artists and arts organisations can then start taking the business world more seriously too – as a site for learning – rather than only a revenue generating opportunity.
If businesspeople should take art more seriously, artists too should take business more seriously. Commerce is a central part of the human experience. More prosaically, it is what billions of people do all day. As such, it deserves a more subtle examination on the page and the screen than it currently receives.