Artful Creation: Learning-Tales of Arts-in-Business

Creative Alliances: The Art of Developing the Corporate Sector

September 15, 2015

A new book marks a first in the mapping of the interplay between arts and business in an international perspective.

What happens when the corporate world adopts a strategic approach to art? Is the result mere hot air – and entertainment at best? Or does art offer an actual potential for developing the corporate world? The brief answer to both questions is – YES! It just depends on what approach to art the organisation decides to take.

A more in-depth answer can be found in Lotte Darsø’s new book, Artful Creation: Learning-Tales of Arts-in-Business, which represents the first comprehensive international study of the interplay between arts and business. The book includes descriptions of social innovation and organisational change through art, as well as ideas on what the corporate world can achieve through incorporating artistic processes in their development strategy. Through case studies of, among others, Unilever UK, Bang & Olufsen, Xerox Parc and Volvo, the author describes how companies can implement artistic processes, and why it pays off.

Lotte Darsø interviewed a number of visionary businessmen and -women as well as artists, including Creative Leaps president, John Cimino, from all over the world. Throughout the book, they tell their stories, their ‘learning tales.’ Artful Creation also contains methods and guidelines for future alliances between arts and business. Aimed at businesspeople, researchers, consultants and artists, Lotte Darsø describes how the Arts represent a huge potential for companies and for society. But art is neither a quick fix nor a cure-all management method. Quite the contrary; art intrudes and interrupts, she says. Its potential is transformative and that means we must be willing to look change and difference and the unknown squarely in the eye.

Artful Creation is the culmination of a strategic effort to promote the interplay between the arts and the corporate world. Following the report ‘The creative potential in Denmark’ the research consortium known as The Creative Alliance was established at Learning Lab Denmark in 2001. Through this consortium, researchers, directed by Research Manager Lotte Darsø, examined the learning potential of the emerging field of Arts-in-Business. Artful Creation documents this research.

Otto Scharmer, author of THEORY U: Leading and Learning from the Future as It Emerges, and co-author with Peter Senge et al. of Presence: Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, writes of Artful Creation, "This book presents a new perspective on one of the most important questions of our time: how to unlock the power of art and creation for coping with the challenges in business and society. It offers clear concepts and practical examples. Art in our century may turn to be the only revolutionary and healing force.”

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