Rethinking leadership: An aesthetic critical reflection
The world of now is no longer the world of five minutes from now. We live in a post-modern, post-traditional, multi-everything, globally interconnected world in which we are constantly confronted with challenge and change. How do we deal with this and in particular how do managers and organizational leaders operate amidst such complexity and incongruity?
Traditional means of management, leadership and in general business practice and education, fail to prepare individuals for these kinds of dynamics. The world is too complex to be fully understood by our blind devotion to cold, instrumental, scientific forms of logic and rationally based sense-making alone. If the future is to be prosperous we need management and leadership focused on creativity and innovation. Business professionals must be able to grasp the complexity of the world, interpret it, imagine new strategies of action, and meaningfully represent, communicate and implement those strategies in inspirational ways.
Now, ask yourself, what group of professionals is particularly good at creativity, innovation, imagination, complex interpretation, representation, communication and inspirational implementation? The obvious answer is those professionals for whom these are the basic tools of the trade – artists.
The value of introducing artists, art and the creative processes to business education – activity which lies at the heart of the IEDC-Bled School of Management’s philosophy – is to provoke new ways to see, hear and feel and evoke new and responsible ways to think, do and be. By experiencing and reflecting upon the work of artists (painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, actors, conceptual artists, etc.) business professionals enter a rich, dynamic and exciting world of creativity and innovation. In dialogue with them they acquire new skills of experiencing and interpreting complexity through creative processes, and orienting these experiences to relevant and required actions of strategy, innovation and implementation in business contexts.
As Einstein said, “we cannot solve today’s problems with the same level of think we used to create them”. By combining the arts and business we develop new ways of thinking and acting which we leverage to find new methods, opportunities and means of creating a more prosperous future.
Dr. Ian Sutherland, PhD (Exon) is Director of the Centre for Arts and Leadership Development and Research, assistant professor, pianist and Director of the Executive PhD at the IEDC-Bled School of Management, Slovenia.
Dr. Ian Sutherland will be available for discussions between 16-17 of May at the Think Leadership event, in Romania. Think Leadership is dedicated to professionals with 4-7 years of experience in marketing, sales, finance or logistics, people who would like to access a leadership position. Think Leadership will take place at Intercontinental Hotel, in Bucharest. Find more information on www.thinkleadership.ro.