Robert D. Austin is an innovation and technology management researcher and professor of Innovation and Information Technology at Ivey Business School in Canada. Together with dramaturg and emeritus professor of theatre Lee Devin he examines business innovation through the lens of art practice. Their two books Artful Making and The Soul of Design explore the striking structural similarities between theatre artistry and production and today’s business projects. For Austin, there is no doubt artistic practices are highly relevant in today’s’ business environment, and particularly “in developed economies because communication and transportation networks have become so usable and inexpensive that it devalues cost-leadership approaches to business.
What has inspired Age of Artists in the last month? Exciting, entertaining and controversial findings from the world wide web. Things that attracted our attention in January:
A great example of an effort to bring artists and engineers together to exchange and to jointly develop ideas this month comes from Bosch. The global Player is connecting technology and creativity at the new research campus in Renningen. Watch them explain the new office concept, how it encourages innovative ideas and supports cooperation:
Cheryl Conner, entrepreneur and communications expert from Salt Lake City, says that more than ever, authentic communication is vital to business.
Gerald Hüther is a neurobiologist and author. He studied biology in Leipzig and also received his doctorate there. In 1988, he qualified as a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Göttingen and received the teaching license of Neurobiology. Professor Hüther has published a variety of books, most recently “Etwas mehr Hirn, bitte” (“A little more brainpower, please”), where he sums up his experience and insights into the topics of purpose, individual constructiveness and the love of joint creativity.
Age of Artists presented last week at this year’s Knowtech, a conference about knowledge management, social collaboration and industry 4.0 for German-speaking audiences. The host BITKOM, the industry association for the digital sector in Germany offered a diverse and very interesting selection of keynotes, lectures and workshops. The motto „Smart and Social – knowledge activation in the digital age” was constantly present and people discussed all the great opportunities technology innovation provides while wondering what this will mean for people and their work. Read More
A couple of years ago I came across an article by Tim Leberecht on what entrepreneurs can learn from artists which made it immediately into my list of top reads of that year. I was fascinated by the ease at which Tim connected multiple somewhat known but not necessarily related points into a coherent whole. Tim must have realized long ago that every innovation in some way is a derivative of what exists.
Theater director Ingolf Huhn knows the requirements for modern leaders from his personal experience. The function of the director combines and contains multiple responsibilities: economic, organizational, and especially artistic. But how do you create a trusting culture of feedback when you are solely responsible? “Those who work professionally, need criticism. They need criticism in terms of feedback. That’s the only way it works. For me it is difficult to get honest feedback by the ensemble.
What has inspired Age of Artists in March? Exciting, entertaining and controversial findings from the world wide web. Our Top Five Picks of the Month:
“Artists can illuminate truth, offer transcendent experience in a far too literal world, challenge us to feel, and connect us to our common humanity”. 6 success stories about collaboration between artists and organizations from the Guardian.
But which artistic ways of thinking and methods do fit the needs of economy and organizations?
Eric Schmidt, former CEO and now Executive Chairman at Google, once put it this way: “Let’s be clear about what we are claiming: As business becomes more dependent on knowledge to create value, work becomes more like art. In the future, managers who understand how artists work will have an advantage over those who don’t. Philippe Rixhon, a leader at the junction of arts, business and technology, also comments that “many business sectors would benefit from adopting some of the theatre world’s basic creation practices related to innovation leadership.
By now, it is common sense that people–both young and experienced–need to be equipped differently in order to succeed in this accelerated and complex time we live in. Skills and competences such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, improvisation and cooperation become more important. Many leading thinkers promote a new approach to leadership that embraces authenticity, curiosity, invention and collaboration. Organizations–and the large ones often struggle with this–need to constantly innovate to survive and need to look for sustainable ways to execute their missions.