Andy Warhol said it best: “Good business is the best art.” And recently, many businesses have begun to turn to the arts, not just as a creative asset, but as an part of enterprise woven into the fabric of business.
John Maeda, the president of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), predicts that artists will emerge as the new business leaders and cites RISD graduates Joe Gebbia and Brian Chesky, co-founders of Airbnb, as prominent examples. The author William Deresiewicz heralds reading as the most important task of any leader. John Coleman makes a compelling case for the role of poetry in business. Intel named pop musician will.i.am as director of creative innovation. And the World Economic Forum has been inviting arts and cultural leaders to its events for several years and this year added the ‘Role of the Arts’ to its Network of Global Agenda Councils.
The art of business becomes more important. Data and analytical tools allow us to maximize processes and best practices, but intuition and creativity remain as the only new factors that allow true innovations. Creativity cannot be subjugated, only explored. And like artists, business must expand an attitude and develop creative practices in order to see business fresh and create something innovative.