Where is the attention to human being?

Giovanni Schiuma

Thinking about the application of the arts in business and how the organization can be transformed using creative processes and arts there could be different examples that we can bring and list. There are some examples that explain how the combination of creative processes in organizational context has provided a tool, a means for improving innovation.

And one of the key examples are represented by Google, Apple and Pixar. These are the organizations that have been able using arts and more specifically creativity then even more aesthetics. And for aesthetics I mean the capacity of engaging human senses in a very broad sense. They have been able to engage people to make sure that they give the best of themselves and they are able to be more creative and more proactive.

When we think about the role of arts in business as a way to improve organization other example can be in found in the era of ethica. Today there are a lot of hospitals, particularly in Scandinavian countries, that are designed by thinking how can we make the space, how can we make the experience better for people. So the idea in that case is to use arts to make the space but also to make sure that processes that are applied in the organization can meet the needs of people.

But then we are still very far from the integration of arts in business. We are still far about transforming the organization in a really human based system. Still organizations are run in a very mechanistic way. Organizations are still very focused on profits. And this is fine but the point is, where is the attention to human being? In most of the cases people go in the organizations and they are not happy doing what they do. They switch their emotional mind, all their passion, all their love is outside the organization. This is very often important. But we still spend most of our life in the organizational contexts. So how can we make organization a better system? Places where people can go in and can enjoy what they do?

So arts can provide a background for this example. Probably if we think from this perspective to the arts organizations, arts organizations provide a good insight from this point of view. Usually artists are, unfortunately it is important to say, actually quite poor or they are struggling to make their living but nevertheless they are happy doing what they do. They put the passion in what they do. And this is probably missing in the organizational context.

So if we are able to bring the arts, bring the support, bring artist’s capacity, the artistic skills in organizational context probably we would be able to make a better organization. So there are some examples of businesses using arts. Some of these businesses are using it in a very opportunistic way. Some other businesses recognise the role of arts as a way to improve the workplace, as way to improve its life. But then we are still far.

And my idea what I do is to advocate that arts can really make an impact on business. And this is what I am focusing on in my research where I am developing the most of my business models, where through models and examples I am trying to explain how this can happen, how organizations can benefit from integrating the creative processes and arts in their business.

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Giovanni Schiuma

Giovanni Schiuma

Director of the Innovation Insights Hub at University of the Arts London

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