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Why the Arts are Essential to Industry 4.0

Posted by Mariama Holman
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We are on the precipice of industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution, where interconnected devices, systems and artificial intelligence utilize analytics to provide greater decision making capacity. The advancements will be ground breaking, disrupting not only business models, but the entire labor market.

 

According to the Guardian, about 47% of all jobs in the United States, ranging from low-skill labor all the way to white collar accountants, are at risk for termination. How can workers stay competitive within this rapidly changing environment?

 

The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs report offers hope. The recent study indicates the increased importance of creativity and other elements fostered by the arts for the workforce of 2020.

 

In a ranked list of the top 10 most important workplace skills, creativity moved from being the lowest prioritized skill in 2015 to the third most important skill by 2020. Critical thinking also lifted - from fourth place to second place in the 2020 study. Emotional intelligence made a debut on the 2020 list.

  

How can these results be interpreted? Workers will need to be more agile – more willing to experiment and develop new ideas for improving business performance, needing both the intellectual rigor to internalize information and creative problem-solving aptitude for turning disparate and rapidly changing data into practical solutions. The ability to practice emotional intelligence is crucial for bringing these solutions to life.

 

Creativity is key for future workforces

Given the gushing fire house of data now available from the Internet of Things, employees will need to do more than perform automatable calculations, but utilize creativity to ask better questions of the datasets they have access to – being able to take a big picture approach to understanding what is important, what is not, and most importantly, develop an ability to utilize creative thinking to generate solutions.

 

Workers will also need to justify why their work role is crucial to the firm, and creative thinking is crucial for finding new ways to deliver this value to employers.

 

Creativity is a skill, not a talent

According to University of Texas at Austin psychology and marketing professor, Dr. Art Markman, America’s workforce is in luck, because “creativity is a skill you can build, not a talent you either have or don’t.”

 

This means employers can make their employees more valuable to the firm and cultivate a future leadership pipeline by offering training that fosters creativity.

 

In Fast Company, Dr. Markman listed several core dimensions for building creative aptitude – one of which was practicing openness, or how well someone can impartially consider new ideas, experiences and concepts, rather than dismissing them because they simply are “not the way [they] do things.”

 

Smart companies realize the importance of openness, and that is why they foster in employees an appreciation of the diverse array of perspectives found in the arts.

 

For instance, Fortune 500 companies and BCA 10 awardees such as Kaiser Permanente, Humana Inc. and Lincoln Financial Group offer employees access to benefits such as discounted performance tickets, in-office art installations and a variety of other amenities to develop this sense of openness.

 

The arts and culture sector offers workforce training solutions desperately needed for businesses to thrive in the emerging industry 4.0.   

 

Image: Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum

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BuzzFeed’s 14 Ways Doing Theater As A Kid Can Help You As An Adult

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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BuzzFeed’s 14 Ways Doing Theater As A Kid Can Help You As An Adult

Numerous business leaders have attributed their success in business to their arts education background. You can find many of their stories on pARTnershipMovement.org.


Excerpted from BuzzFeed’s February 23, 2016 article by Maritsa Patrinos, here are 14 ways doing theater as a kid can help you as an adult. You can learn more about how theater helps cultivate these skills by reading the full article on BuzzFeed.


Interested in learning how to use the arts to cultivate these skills in your employees? Learn about arts-based training examples here.


14 Ways Doing Theater As A Kid Can Help You As An Adult
1. It improves your public speaking skills.
2. You learn the value of teamwork.
3. It teaches you empathy.
4. You become a master of stress management.
5. You’ll gain confidence.
6. But you’ll also learn some humility.
7. It teaches you how to deal with rejection.
8. You’ll know how to work on a deadline.
9. It is a surefire way of gaining reading skills.
10. You’ll gain a higher appreciation of the written (and spoken) word.
11. It makes you more charismatic.
12. Your memorization skills will be on point.
13. It gets you in the habit of staying physically active.
14. It teaches you some real-world professionalism.
 

Photo courtesy of Trust Company of Kansas. Photo by Christopher Clark.

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CEO Shares 6 Ways Dance Helps Him Lead

Posted by Kate Reese
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Mathew Heggem is a dancer turned CEO of SUM Innovation, a 15 person company that assesses, designs, implements, and manages accounting solutions. After working in the nonprofit world for many years, Matthew changed his career to seek out new experiences. Though one may not think that “choreographer” and “accounting consultant” share many characteristics, Matthew says building a business is creative work.


“I saw building a business as an opportunity to continue my exploration as a creative person. A new business is a blank canvas, and it’s all a matter of leveraging your creativity to create something worthwhile within the context of your resources,” Matthew says in an article on Simply Hired's blog.

 

Creativity enables innovative thinking, and an exposure to art can equip future employees with qualifications that translate across fields. “Discovering the overlap between the outputs of dance and accounting paved the way for me to effectively take on a CEO role.... Instead of seeing myself as only a skilled dance artist, I looked at what made me a choreographer and found that my talents applied to more than just the stage.”
 

Read 6 ways that this CEO’s dance training helps him as a leader in business.

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Creativity: A Critical Element in Corporate Innovation

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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In 2014, Amelia Gandara helped launch 2015 BCA 10 honoree GE’s FirstBuild, which focuses on creating the next generation of home appliances, and she now serves as the Director of Commercialization and Engagement for EnterpriseCorp, which focuses on economic development in Louisville. But before she took on the business world, she was a professional dancer with the Louisville Ballet and Missouri Contemporary Ballet.

 

“Dance prepared me for the ebb and flow of teamwork,” she says in a post for Americans for the Arts ARTSblog.There are times when I’d get a solo, like a presentation to the public in the workplace, and times when I had to blend seamlessly into the corp de ballet, like when preparing for a product launch.”

 

At FirstBuild, Amelia worked side by side with artists that were brought in as collaborators to create new appliances. In addition, the company sought out other engineers who excelled in creativity. “The idea that brilliant engineers can be locked away in a research lab to solve problems is no longer held by the most innovative companies.”

 

Learn more about how ballet helped this engineer achieve big things in Louisville.

 

Learn more about GE’s FirstBuild and the BCA 10 in this year’s program book.
 

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Poets’ Precision Helps Future Physicians

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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Poets’ Precision Helps Future Physicians

In an essay published in July 2015’s Academic Medicine, Dr. Caroline Welbery and Dr. Rebecca McAteer of Georgetown University School of Medicine make a case for incorporating the arts into medical school curriculum. Their research suggests that exposure to the arts can provide valuable new perspectives for physicians-in-training. They have created 8 weeks of curriculum that they call an “arts observation seminar,” which includes instruction in poetry, photography, and descriptive writing.

 

“The literary and visual arts have long-standing and venerable roles in fortifying the lessons of clinical empathy, communication skills, critical thinking, and attention,” the doctors say. They claim that arts-based training can help future physicians keep an open mind, describe their observations with precision, and articulate their ideas effectively.

For example, the doctors suggest that the study of poetic precision “provides an educational bridge to recognizing the importance of detail in the clinical realm, where exactness is critical to providing safe, high-quality medical care. Reviewing examples of literary precision can help students learn how to avoid crude or sloppy descriptions, and how to analyze observations that lack appropriate nuance.”

 

As the Pacific Standard writes, “Wellbery and McAteer argue [that] arts training can help enormously in practicing focused attention, cultivating a habit of close observation, and staying aware of one's own biases. You can't properly diagnose what you don't really see, and when it comes to perceptiveness, there's nothing like a physician with a touch of the poet.”

 

Learn more about the benefits of arts education.
 

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Lessons in Oratory from the Opera

Posted by Brooke LaRue
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Lessons in Oratory from the Opera

Did you know that Margaret Thatcher took voice lessons when she became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom? Think about the people you know in leadership positions. Chances are they all share an ability to communicate well. Employers often claim that good public speaking skills is one of the most valuable assets in a new hire, but many job seekers lack performance training. In a recent article in The Harvard Business Review, Allison Shapira, a former opera singer who now teaches public speaking, has identified several ways to perfect this essential skill, which she culled from her years as a performer.


She writes, “As a former opera singer, I know how much breathing affects how a voice sounds. Singers must use deep breathing in order to project a strong voice across a crowded auditorium to reach every single person in the audience…Now, having taught public speaking and presentation skills for over a decade, I can say with confidence that the ability to harness your breath is one of the most important and least taught areas within public speaking.”


Read the opera singer’s tips for public speaking.


Learn other ways that arts-based training can help in business.

 

Photo: Americans for the Arts President & CEO Robert Lynch addresses the audience at the 2014 National Arts Awards.

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How Majoring in Art History Helped Corporate Leaders

Posted by Stacy Lasner
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How Majoring in Art History Helped Corporate Leaders

Did you know that, “9 percent of the 100 richest people on the Forbes list studied arts in college — more than those who majored in economics (8 percent) and finance (3 percent)?” An article on The Daily Princetonian highlights several corporate leaders who found success in the corporate world by majoring in art history.

 

“’Majoring in art history allowed me to relate to and understand the psychology of the creative mind,’ says Sara Dennis ’87, who has been senior vice president at top fashion companies, including Lands’ End. Dennis has drawn from art history again and again, because ‘the beauty of the major is that the student can explore a plethora of topics, from science to politics.’”

 

With one in five American undergraduates majoring in business, those with art history degrees stood out from the crowd. Their arts degrees made them creative, culturally aware, and well-rounded employees at companies such as Guggenheim Partners, Meetup, Morgan Stanley, NBA Entertainment, and others.

 

To read their stories, visit The Daily Princetonian.

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Aetna’s Floyd Green: How Theater Honed His Business Acumen

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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Americans for the Arts Board Member Floyd W. Green III is best known as the Corporate Vice President and Head of Community Relations and Urban Marketing at Aetna. He has, however, spent time out of the corporate office and on the stage. From German cabarets and Atlantic City nightclubs, to Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Green immerses himself in the many facets of theater.

 

A recent article by Forefront Magazine interviews Green about how he’s used lessons from the theater world to enhance his skills as a business leader and manager. He says, “It’s like a ‘Night at the Improv.’ You’re in the moment when you’re in a sales call or meeting. It’s all in real time, and it’s just like doing improvisation. If you’re not present in the moment, you will not be genuine or authentic.”

 

At Aetna, Green advocates for the arts as a tool to improve people’s health and offers unique ways for employees to express their emotions through creative means. Aetna is a 2011 recipient of the BCA 10: Best Businesses Partnering with the Arts in America.

 

Read the full interview here.

 

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Photo: courtesy of Forefront Magazine.

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JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts Brings More Poise and Grace to its Business

Posted by Kellyn Lopes
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Poise, grace, posture, and confidence are some of the many exceptional attributes of ballet dancers. JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts also sees these as important qualities its associates need to deliver a superior level of service to its guests.

 

JW Marriott is taking the service culture to a new level with the launch of “Poise and Grace,” a series of video training tutorials led by Ashley Wheater, Artistic Director of The Joffrey Ballet.

 

“At JW Marriott, we look to identify associates that live the brand vision of orchestrating the exceptional, crafting luxurious experiences for guests that are inspired by their passions,” said Mitzi Gaskins, Vice President and Global Brand Manager of JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts.  “Poise and posture are globally recognized cultural cues that reflect the care and dedication our associates provide in every service interaction.”

 

The inspirational videos are typically shown to associates during the daily team meeting. The videos focus on the importance of warming up, breathing techniques, movement flow and connecting with audiences. While hotel guests do not see the videos, they experience the impact: confident, poised associates with strong first impressions and meaningful connections.

 

“We are proud to partner with JW Marriott on the Poise and Grace video training series,” said Wheater. “Ballet technique breeds discipline, self-confidence and a genuine interaction between people. Dancers epitomize poise and grace, and this program is a wonderful way to both celebrate our brand partnership and enhance the JW Marriott guest experience.”

 

  

 

Photo: courtesy of JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts.

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From Ballet Dancer to CEO

Posted by Patrick O'Herron
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Another incredible story of dancer-turned-executive! In the following article from The Guardian, Leigh Thomas, CEO of Dare, a UK-based creative agency, discusses the skills she took away from the barre and brought to the board room -- skills such as discipline, attention to detail, and the power of emotional availability.

 

I went from ballet dancer to CEO and this is what it taught me

 


"Even though I can no longer do fouéttes, ballet has been my competitive advantage in business and if I had to pass on one life lesson from it, it would be this from dancer and choreographer, Jacques d'Amboise:

 

'Just remember when you're not practising that someone somewhere is. And when you meet them, they will win.'"

 

-Leigh Thomas, CEO, Dare

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