A few thoughts came together today when I was reflecting on a great conversation with my son, Josh, last night. He's an art student, with his practice of art having a very contemporary twist - the sort of thing that you might ask "is that really art?"
He had been listening to the Reith Lectures - this year delivered by Grayson Perry who, across four programmes, discusses what makes him an artist, the limits of contemporary art, how to gauge the quality of new artworks and the future of the avant-garde. You can find all the recordings on the BBC website.
Anyway, Josh was talking about the process of 'group critiques' at art school where the work of each student is openly (and often quite ruthlessly) critiqued by the tutor and other students. The objective is to get students used to a creative process where concepts and ideas are created, destroyed, re-created etc in an innovative upward spiral. He was explaining how he deals with that, practically and emotionally, when his ideas are not shared by others. It reminded me of a great talk I listened to at the Academy of Management conference a couple of years ago. Some learned business school professors were talking about management education, specifically MBAs and how they are taught, and they were bemoaning the fact that somehow in management, we've become formulaic, rule-following and so protective of our egos that the concept of a manager undergoing development going through a 'group critique' as in art school would be unheard of. As a result we are ill-preparing our managers for innovation in future - innovation that can only happen if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable (see blog posting on this from 4th November 2013)
So, I just wanted to share that as a thought I'd had at that conference and forgotten until now. I wonder how we can learn to be more creative, more resilient, less 'right', and in doing so transform our organisations in a fast-changing world?