Sharpening Vision, Values and Adaptive Capability Via The Arts

Harnessing the Arts to Communicate Organizational Identity, Vision, and Values in a Climate of Accelerating Change

John J. Cimino, Jr.

September 15, 2015

"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." — Charles Darwin

In a time when change—indeed, rapid change—is the norm, extraordinary demands like never before are being placed on corporate leaders and managers. Identities and core values, even the very structures of organizations, are constantly shifting in response to the flux. More than ever, the adaptive capability of organizations depends on how quickly and authentically everyone within the organization is able to absorb new messages and participate in the new thinking on which survival depends. In this dynamic, there is nothing more crucial than supremely effective communication, and by this I mean communication which not only passes on the right information, but fires up the collective intelligence and imagination, building and nurturing highly nuanced relationships in the process. As more and more organizational leaders are discovering, this domain of rapid, transformative communication is one where creative and performing artists are making powerful, highly expert contributions to the corporate culture. (See Artists Help Empower Corporate America by Harvey Seifter, in this issue).

Through thirteen years of arts-based work in corporate and government settings, we at Creative Leaps International learn more everyday about the enlivening, humanizing, and eminently practical applications of “the mind processes of the arts.” We work with our clients to help them access their own multiple creative connections, deeper personal insights, and rich new solutions to the challenges at hand. Many of those challenges, as outlined above, are adaptive, relational and communicational. What follows is a recent list of projects and assignments that exemplify the wide-ranging application of the arts, and the work of Creative Leaps International in particular, in identifying and communicating vision and values within major corporations, executive education centers and government agencies:

  • Starbucks — To introduce the principles of Servant Leadership to the company’s national team of over 5000 store managers
  • General Electric — To enliven executive education and grow the company’s internal identity as a global organization containing rich cultural diversity
  • Pfizer — To establish a highly innovative setting for creative problem solving and risk taking at an international conference of the healthcare industry
  • The Bank of Montreal — To energize creative thinking and catalyze whole-hearted, fully invested participation in reshaping of the bank’s vision, culture and goals
  • Council for Excellence in Government — To nurture creativity and personal integrity among 1000 top Federal and White House government executives
  • Center for Creative Leadership — To communicate and embody the latest research on leadership as partnership, an emergent and fully participatory dynamic of groups.

In our world, the arts are no longer some parallel experience you have along the way, but rather a powerful source of insight and transformation feeding directly into the thinking, feeling and acting of daily life — full of possibility, truth and optimism.

Artists Help Empower Corporate America

Creative Leaps and Knowledge Integration