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How the Arts can Solve Top Concerns of CEOs

Posted by Danielle Iwata
How the Arts can Solve Top Concerns of CEOs


CNBC reported on The Conference Board’s latest study, C-Suite Challenge 2019™, which lists the top three internal concerns for CEOs as the following:


1.       Attracting and retaining top talent

2.       Creating new business models due to disruptive technology

3.       Developing the next generation of leaders


If these concern you, you should try the arts.


Attracting and retaining top talent

The arts stimulate positive company culture and conversation, foster employee well-being, and inspire a healthier work environment through unique and meaningful experiences for human connection. Who wouldn’t want to work at an organization that encourages a positive work environment?


The Standard, a past BCA 10 honoree, has been using the arts to create organizational culture through a pop-up gallery that showcases employees’ visual and textile art, jewelry, and fashion pieces. The show was designed to break down barriers among departments, foster better relationships among co-workers, and encourage innovation in the workplace.


Outside of the office, the arts are essential to the development of a vibrant and diverse community in which the best employees want to live, work, shop, create, and contribute. Businesses and its leaders understand the value of the arts in enriching community life. 79% of companies surveyed in study Business Contributions to the Arts, conducted in partnership with The Conference Board, support the arts to improve the quality of life.


2018 BCA 10 winner Phillips 66 has been involved in its community as supporters of Houston Symphony as a leading corporate donor, and as a presenting sponsor of free performances at Miller Outdoor Theatre by Stages Repertory Theater. Greg Garland, CEO said the company “is proud to support the arts. Our communities are enriched by the arts, precisely because art touches and changes lives in ways that are positive and profound.”


Creating new business models due to disruptive technology

The arts reveal and enhance the breadth of talent and creativity among employees and teams by cultivating the creative thinking skills your business needs. Take CopperPoint Insurance. The company’s commitment to integrating the arts into its operational culture has created opportunities to think outside the box. Since 2007, CopperPoint has engaged in a “drawing out loud process” known as Graphic Facilitation which features the use of large-scale imagery to lead group discussions and literally draw the company’s annual goals and initiatives.


The arts foster inspiration, empathy, and leadership —all which establish a platform to innovate in an ever-evolving economy. At Hallmark, creative employees can take part in the my5days program, which leads to “new ways of thinking, personal inspiration, and growth.” Through workshops, gallery shows, and collaborations with nonprofits, Hallmark is giving its employees opportunities “to renew, explore, learn, and think differently about the world and work around them.”


The arts can work beyond helping employees develope creative solutions around new technology - particularly if art is part of the tech. Nokia Bell Labs has been collaborating with artists as part of its Experiments in Arts and Technology (E.A.T. Program). Working with New Museum's NEW INC and Stevens Institute of Technology, the company is exploring modes empathic communication in the latest technology. This partnership is not only trying to integrate a more beneficial human aspect to technologoy, but it is encouraging engineers and researches to look at their work from new persepctives.



Developing the next generation of leaders

According to Business Contributions to the Arts, 63 percent of companies promote board service at arts organizations. This data is supported by studies conducted by Korngold Consulting, which demonstrate that board experience creates stronger leaders, as summarized in this Forbes piece– Nonprofit Board Service Builds More Effective Business Leaders.


It’s no wonder that 2018 BCA 10 honoree Fifth Third Bank’s Teresa Tanner, chief administrative officer, was named Chair of ArtsWave’s Board of Directors last fall;  and the company has many other executives who serve on the boards of arts and cultural organizations, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati Ballet, and Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, as well as other arts organizations across its 10-state reach. ArtsWave even started a program, BOARDwayBound, which selects board candidates and current board members for a two-month professional development session. In a post in BizJournals, President and CEO Alecia Kintner noted “Arts board leadership is one of the top professional development tools Cincinnati’s corporate community uses to groom high-performing employees into future leadership.”


Suffice it to say, the arts are pretty powerful. They can have remarkable effects on employees, companies, and communities. But that's not all - check out our Arts + Social Impact Explorer to see how they intersect every aspect of our lives. So the next time you encounter an issue, consider using the arts.

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