The Arts & Business, an article from The Economist

Finally have a moment to comment on an article from The Economist of several months ago, “The art of management, Business has much to learn from the arts ” by Joseph Schumpeter.

“Many businessmen… assume that artists are a bunch of pretentious wastrels.”  He refers to this bias as starting in business school, and then references some of the barbarity in current business book titles.  Wess Robert’s  Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun is one.

My contention is that, at least in American culture, the bias begins way before grad school.

Consider Kindergartens.  How many can remember having a full-time art or  music teacher in their school?  A few minutes a week or month set aside by an overwhelmed classroom teacher doesn’t count.  What kinds of subliminal messaging does that give?

Those messages are generally continued throughout one’s school experience here in the U.S.  The current economic squeeze on schools is nothing new.  “The frills” of art and music are always eliminated first.

Then Schumpeter delves a little deeper, and begins to write about business leaders communicating more effectively.  Right up my singing teacher alley.

He also mentions creativity.  (Innovation, in business speak.)  In my experience in music and business, this is something you can’t teach, but it can be nurtured and encouraged.

Perhaps if more businesses could adapt that attitude, they’d begin to see the ROI.

ROI = Return on Investment

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