The head, hand and heart of art – Age of Artists publishes white paper with preliminary research findings

Dirk Dobiéy Business, Education, News, Organization, Publication, Society Leave a Comment

The head, hand and art of the arts – Age of Artists publishes white paper with preliminary research findings.

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.

Come play with us!

TC World 2014

Upcoming conference speech of Age of Artists at TC World 2014 in Stuttgart

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Age of Artists participates in November at TC World 2014 in Stuttgart.

Excerpt from the session description: With technological advancements such as big data, text analysis, cognitive computing and others a large portion of knowledge work will be automated during the next decades. With this evolution step knowledge workers of the future are required to extend their skill set. Many of the required skills can be derived from the creative disciplines. By learning from culture and people in culture, knowledge workers and their organizations will understand how to better put structure to strategy and context to data. From individual to organization and from organization to society, the right attitude and actions can make a difference. We are convinced that artistic thinking and action can provide answers. Skills, competencies, methods, ways of thinking and emotional perceptions, as we know from how artists work, will help to deal with and shape the far-reaching changes of our time for people, organizations and the global society.

Poetry Slam at Art of Management 2014

First conference appearance: Age of Artists in Copenhagen

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Age of Artists founding member S. Kirsten Gay delivered our first conference presentation at the art of management & organization conference that took place in Copenhagen Aug 28-31. Today we are pleased to share the presentation. The related white paper will be released to the public in a couple of weeks.

The Art of Management & Organization exists to bring together a community of scholars, researchers, practitioners, artists, managers, consultants and anyone who is interested in understanding management and organization from perspectives drawn from the humanities and arts.

Kirsten presented our initial findings and insights drawn from conversations with artists and thought leaders which combined nicely to tell a compelling story of our suggested model and why it is important for individuals, organizations and for solving wicked problems. Great artists manage to keep head, hand & heart deliberately in sync over time and likewise the Age of Artists working model consists of three major elements: Head, Hand & Heart.

Head – summarizes our findings when it comes to developing an attitude as a basis or, a foundation for the artistic practice.

Hand – combines a series of actions that artists do and that we were able to identify that crossed the various art genres. We suspect them be relevant for other disciplines as well, in fact some of them are already common practice in other domains. We structured this section into three modules: Searching, Reflecting and Producing which contain another set of sub sections.

Heart – represents an attempt to capture the sphere of beliefs, feelings, faith, emotional evocation and emotions – both the emotions of the artists themselves and the emotions which they seek to evoke with their art or performances.

The overall presentation was very well received. Many participants took pictures of the model that we presented. The comments we heard was “Excellent presentation”, “This is the highlight of the conference so far for me” and “I really like the model”. During a vivid discussion with the audience after the presentation we understood that our concepts need to be deepened in the areas of “Studio Leadership” and “Five lines for the Organization”. We think this can be done by adding additional focus to these areas through further conversations with thought leaders and additional research.

On top of the learning during her presentation and follow-up discussion Kirsten had the chance to also establish a close connection with some very knowledgeable and committed individuals that we hope to connect and engage with further. On top Kirsten participated in the poetry slam during the conference and won the runner-up – but according to her that would have been more impressive if there were more than three poets there!

Our first conference presentation has been a great opportunity and experience for Kirsten and Age of Artists and encouraged us to continue our journey to constantly learning from creative disciplines for better outcomes in business and society. We would like to thank everyone that contributed to the success of the presentation, our conversation partners, the Art of Management & Organization team and academic organizer Per Darmer of the Copenhagen Business School.

Miha Pogacnik National Gallery

What can Business learn from Classical Masterpieces – Interview with Miha Pogacnik

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“Great Art really mobilizes the total human nature and that is very important.”

One of the objectives of Age of Artists is to promote the dialogue and exchange with thought leaders at the intersection of art and business. One of our first conversations brought us to Miha Pogacnik, classical concert violinist and leadership consultant that taps the largely unexplored potential of art as a significant force for productivity, creativity and organizational renewal. Miha is Slovenian Cultural Ambassador, entrepreneur and adjunct professor of Art and Leadership at IEDC – Bled School of Management. Details about his passion and profession can be found at

Age of Artists spoke to Miha for more than one hour during an inspiring video interview while he was at home in Hamburg on June 14th 2014. Here are some of the gems from that inspiring conversation.

Sources: Picture taken from

Art of Management Conference 2014

Age of Artists accepted for presentation at Art of Management Conference

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Age of Artists is looking forward to participate and present at the 2014 Copenhagen Art of Management and Organization Conference. We finally received our formal acceptance letter stating:

We are delighted to accept your paper “Art and Economy – How Business can Learn from Creative Disciplines” for participation in the Open stream at the Art of Management and Organization Conference to be held at the Copenhagen Business School August 28 – 31, 2014. We are confident your paper will make a fruitful contribution to the aims and objectives of the conference.

Excited to be part of it!

Source: Picture of Copenhagen Business School by Bjarke MacCarthy

Cynetart 2014

4 core needs for superior employee performance

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A 19K person survey conducted by Tony Schwartz, the president and CEO of consulting firm The Energy Project, and Christine Porath, an associate professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business revealed four core needs for superior employee performance impacting the bottom line up to 22 percent:

  • Renewal (physical)
  • Value (emotional)
  • Focus (mental)
  • Purpose (spiritual)

Source: 4 Things Employees Need to Boost Productivity (via @Inc with reference to HBR blog network, The Power of Meeting Your Employees’ Needs)

Sharing this along with a picture from last week’s camping holiday in northern Germany. This certainly falls into the renewal quadrant.