I first met entrepreneur and video-maker Gaspard Bonnefoy while we were finishing our master’s studies in Montpellier. Back then, I remember rushing off to find an internship in a big company that would provide me the opportunity to start my career. Gaspard, meanwhile, was turning down a permanent job offer from the company where he had completed an apprenticeship, and was planning to set off on an exciting quest to understand how culture influences musical creativity.
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.
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.