It is a complex business world we live in and the increase of complexity is accelerating! Companies deal with many business aspects and fight for innovation and creativity. Companies are looking for opportunities and methods to deal with the “creative block”, if we will try to name this struggle. Creativity, out-of-the-box thinking, agility, and flexibility are just some of the characteristics companies are looking for in employees – characteristics that many times can be found among artists and other creative people.
Maybe it’s human nature or maybe it’s the development in technology and the large amount of information that makes it easier for us to engage with visuals rather than written words – videos, pictures, infographics and more. So it is no wonder that businesses are looking for alternatives to the traditional methods.
In order to do so they are hiring artists and designers to help them.
Artists and designers have the ability to simplify and visualize challenges, as well as problems and other questions. They can highlight blind-spots by creating visual maps of the company’s core business and assist in increasing engagement in meetings. There is a trend of hiring designers to participate in business meetings as it was written in an article on Entrepreneur.com.
In another past article Wanted: Arts majors for High-Tech, Shai Ozon, CEO of One1 Group, an Israeli IT company said that “Apple’s success did not stem from the fact that their computers were better than IBMs, rather from the synthesis of disciplines;” Apple’s success derives from different reasons but there is no argument that its designs set the bar very high in user experience and ease of usability. Zack Zigdon, co-founder and global operations manager of the start-up company Innovid mentioned that “the company’s first employee was a Creative Director, which is a position that does not exist at high-tech companies”. Zigdon highlighted the importance of this creativity characteristic in employees.
Besides working with artists on specific challenges, companies are looking to implement artists’ practices in their daily life. Apple for example teaches it employees about Picasso – yes, yes, Picasso – the grand master of minimalism (not the art movement J ), the artist who managed to draw a massive bull in just few lines. So is it surprising that Apple, which has products that are minimal and beautiful, is teaching Picasso?
Or take Foursquare for example. Foursquare’s designers and engineers are participating regularly in a weekly art activity every Friday at 5 p.m. The meeting’s purpose is to deal with creative challenges that brings team member brings to the table. The challenge is one that does not relate to the company’s regular core business. In an article published on FastCompany.com, Jon Steinback, head of Product Design at Foursquare, said that he finds it more useful to spend the hour imagining, rather than focusing on the narrow and specific problems of Foursquare.
I guess we will see more of this trend. If anyone is familiar with any other similar art activities out there, please share by email. you are familiar with more worth mentioning art activities in business companies, please send me an email, would love to know and write about it.