The head, hand and heart of the arts – a white paper with preliminary research findings

Dirk Dobiéy Paper 0 Comments

We have already developed a great appreciation for artists of all genres and the way they approach their individual missions. This is a mission where work and life cannot be separated from each other and yet there is room for family, friends, hobbies and even the most mundane things.  At this stage of our journey—approximately one year into the investigation process and a couple of months in personal dialogue with artists and thought leaders, we do not feel our model is nearly complete or ready to be exhibited. Yet we know it must be brought on stage in order to continue its journey.

We learned that great art is produced when the head, hand, and heart are in sync and when there is an appreciation for allowing an evolution over time. We also identified some potential elements that make an artistic attitude (head) which is mandatory, and identified a variety of action modules (hand) that we interpret as equipment (“instrumentarium”) for optional use throughout the artistic process. We believe there is some emotional component to great art (heart) and have seen many proof points that there are larger iteration circles in the life of an artist and art overall that help to develop an individual art practice or entire art genre over time.

But how does this all fit together with the idea of creating better outcomes in business and society? We propose implementation of the head, hand and heart model, supported by an environment consisting of a different leadership approach and an adjusted way to work in professional organizations. In essence, two things need to be connected: the value-based, purpose-built organization and the individual with an artistic attitude and skill set looking for meaning in supporting an organization’s purpose. A connection between the two is an adjusted form of leadership that we call “studio leadership”. In a society that includes those components as a standard and not the exception, we can begin to successfully address the wicked problems we face.

This paper represents our latest findings and current thinking. We are still at the beginning of our journey and look for more interested and interesting people to engage with in a fruitful dialogue to evolve our hypothesis.

The head, hand and heart of the arts (PDF)

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