ART4TRANSFORMATION – CREATIVITY DEVELOPMENT

How art practice and art appreciation could help us for self-development, transformation, creativity and right brain training in our daily life and work?

In this article we explore this topic:

  • Novelty/originality/authenticity
  • Purpose
  • Efficiency vs Creativity
  • Play
  • Clash of opposites

To succeed in the VUCA context it is becoming very critical for leaders to become innovative and boost their creativity.

It is common nowadays hearing that “right” brain type of people is becoming more and more essential in our world, where many “left” brain activities will be taken over by machines. SO, how to overcome our society extra focus on efficiency paradigm? How to integrate the new “creative” mindset in our life and work? This is where art can really help because art is based on creativity, emotion expression, meaning making, passion, artistic skills such as envisioning, empathy, observation and many other, exactly the type of culture we need to develop in our society and organizations.

In our creativity development workshops we always ask participants to share what is creativity for them, often we let them build the concept of creativity with Lego bricks or Clay. There is not a univoque definition, every person add his own ingredients to the creativity recipe, however there are many commonalities:

Novelty/originality/authenticity

there is always an interesting dialogue on how much we need to show originality and do something that nobody did before in order to be seen as creative. Definitely creativity is associated with pushing the boundaries of a domain which has state of the art norms. At the same time originality does not need to be necessary "quirkiness", it can be "just" authenticity. Creativity can be expression of our uniqueness as human being. Because unique it is original by definition. Here is where creativity meets the concept of.

Purpose

Authenticity comes out from the expression of our purpose, identity, of who we are and what we want to bring into the world. On top of this if we are not driven by our bigger purpose and our passion we will never commit the intense energy needed for creative expression.

Efficiency vs Creativity

Somehow creativity is the opposite of efficiency whose aim is to save energy. The benefits of creativity are pleasure/meaning. The benefit of Efficiency are Time/resources/energy saving. However, even if they can be seen as opposite, creativity cannot be without efficiency. Creativity needs a box, needs constraints and within these constraints can find new solutions.

Play

Often creativity is associated with playfulness, because creativity needs our inner child to express. The one who do not censor unconventional connections.

Clash of opposites

Ideas come from opposite or very far concepts clashing together, like in this example. The Chinese fashion designer/artists Guo Pei got inspiration for her beautiful dresses from domains very far and unrelated to fashion, such as architecture (the tales of Chinese traditional houses) ceramic (a plate) and cooking (a wedding cake) and many others.

Often creativity is associated with playfulness, because creativity needs our inner child to express.“

An interesting way of practicing creativity is by making creative expression of ourselves with mixed media. How creative are we in mixing different media? how much can we be authentic in expressing who we are? How much do we know "who we are" and what we want to bring into the word? All these questions are very interesting to open a reflection and learning on creativity.

This practice is also a way to learn the steps of innovation/creativity process by practicing them.

Creativity process steps:
1. Find a research question (How might We or I....?)
2. Observe, discover, research in different domains around this question or problem to collect food for new ideas and understand better our problem
3. Converge, get insight, make sense of all this material and narrow down our HMW/I question to open up again for the
4. Ideation phase, which us made by a period of Incubation and an eureka moment
5. Than the ideas must be validated and tested
6. We need to do prototypes of it and by trial and error improve them, until when we can do
7. Our final execution

This process can be applied to art as well as business problems and even if it has been described in a sequential way, actually is much more unpredictable and reiterative.

Based on my experience the most complex part for people is the ideation part because the creative part of our brain is not trained enough and at the beginning we tend to come out with very "business as usual ideas".

An important concept is our confidence on being able to be creative. Too often people have an underlying belief that they cannot be creative. My experience is that they have to work first on their underlying belief and in parallel start training the creativity muscle.

This is when it is important to boost our creativity with some "Steal like an artist" tools, practices and methods to train your creativity muscle. Here below some examples.

Lets us know if you want to start your creativity development journey with us!


GIORGIA MADONNO
Facilitator of dialogue, innovation and transformation
Artist

Giorgia is Italian by origins and has been living in Asia since 2008 and previously in France and US. She has been trained by international professional artists. Her encounter with different cultures has led her to deepen an artistic research that goes to the essence of things, overcoming the equivocality of the first impression and the cultural trait. Her art brings you in a journey of discovery. You travel inside her paintings and see the mundane with the surprise of foreign eyes, observe aspects you normally would fail to see. She unveils for you the unconscious. She leads to observe deeper, either a city (by observing new and uncovered details in her urbanscapes) or a human being (by the strong emotions expressed with her nude female bodies). With a limited palette of colors and minimalist strokes and lines, she captures the essence of things and their vibe, making Chinese and Western aesthetic dialogue together.

Giorgia is also the founder of Marco-Polo-Consulting, a consultancy company based in HK and operating in World Wide with major focus on Asia Pacific. The company is focused on facilitating dialogue and innovation for people-centric organizational transformations.

Giorgia has a quite distinctive background combining business and people behaviors expertise with artistic creative practice:

• Entrepreneur and Facilitator of Organization Transformation and innovation. In the last 10 years, since she created her own company in China, Giorgia has been facilitating journeys of transformations for individual, team, organization and people management systems in many Asian countries. She helps people and organizations to become more innovative and to improve the employee experience at work. She uses collaborative approaches such as Design Thinking, Lego Serious play, Art of Hosting.
• Artist and “Art4transformation©” facilitator. Formally trained and professional painter and visual/graphic facilitator, amateur theater actor and puppetry maker. In her consulting practice Giorgia currently leverages both her artistic and business experience to help others becoming more creative in the business context and develop their leadership and right brain.
• EMBA adjunct professor. She has been adjunct professor of HR and Organizational Behaviors in China for Tongji/MIP EMBA in Shanghai - China
• Corporate Human Resource senior executive. She has been leading HR departments/teams in international companies in Europe, US and Asia for more than 15 years

More details about Giorgia’s profile at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/giorgia-madonno-313b677/ and about her artworks at www.gmadonno.com

About Marco Polo Consulting
Marco Polo Consulting is a facilitator of dialogue and transformation. We provide organizational development and transformation professional services World Wide, with major focus in the APAC Region. We strongly believe that meaningful, engaging, innovative working environment will result in happier people and better business results. We belong to a purposeful international ecosystem of boutique companies and professionals, able to offer the flexibility and care of relationships of a local boutique company together with the international capability of a global organization. Our clients in Asia include Volkswagen group, Fiat, Datalogic, Pirelli, Kaspersky Labs, De Longhi , Electrolux, Vopak, Luxottica and Ferrero.

More details at: www.marco-polo-consulting.com

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