Cultural Engineering Group

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The new manager – possible approaches from the arts

FullSizeRender_RWhat is the importance of the manager in companies right now? Is the role of the manager the same as in the middle of 20Th century? So why is the prototype of the manager the same? Departing from “The Five Minds of a Manager” (2003) of Gosling and Mintzberg (the reflective mind-set; the analytical mind-set; the worldly mind-set; the collaborative mind-set and the action mind-set) we intend to construct an approach of where art dynamics can help shaping the new mind frame that managers need to act in the 21st century business context. Applying a workart (Barry and Meisiek: 2010) program can help enterprises, and the managing board, to shift from an Weberian (DiMaggio 2001) paradigm to the new economic model, focusing on the experience and promoting the creativity and innovation along the organization.

What does a workart program mean? It means a program that is a social, individual or community process that emerges from the friction between a set of previous knowledge and the acquisition of new knowledge through an art process, which, for its uniqueness and strangeness, has the ability to provoke conceptual breakthroughs, to form an art mind cognition, where managers can be as agile and creative as artists and as focused and practical as engineers.

How this can help managers to be more prepared to rule the 21st century company? After the mass production, the dot.coms and the web 3.0, we are in a world where selling products is not enough, it is needed to sell experiences, dreams and participation, the consumer has to feel the buying experience as a process where he is the centre and an active actor. This is what art has been doing since ever, bringing the experience close to the public and asking them to take part of the process, to let the passive attitude at the door.

Why are the five mind-sets important? Alongside the changes in the market, we had dramatic changes in the companies. The language of the arts has been taking over the business world, we never talked so much about labour agility, creativity, innovation, flexibility, symbolic capital and aesthetics design. These terms are spread in the organizations and impact every single person that interacts with the enterprises. The five mind-sets allow managers to take these changes into account, the complexity of the organization model, the consumer demands and the different markets specifications, and to act in a more proactive and informed way amplifying the success of the company to every stakeholder and allowing it to change and evolve.

A possible path is traced, not an easy or cloudless one, but an exciting and new one. At the same time, the developing of these intersections could have an impact in the ways business looks at arts and at the growth of the creative industries, with more resources being allocated to it while the benefits are more clear and spread around the other activities and, therefore, appropriated. More experiences are needed to see through the clouds and measure the real potential of this approach, since we are facing complex contexts and making bridges between fields that only recently have shown proximity and are willing to work together, but for uncertain times probably the best source of solution does not lie in typical management methods prescribed by consultants and applied by MBA graduates, but in the fields that enterprises emulate to conduct their organizations into a more dynamic and aesthetic way to operate.

Ricardo Moreira*.

*Ricardo Moreira is an economist, with an innovation masters (Porto University) and doing a business PhD (Barcelona University), specialization in organizations theory and human resources management, crossing arts and business that, for the last 10 years, have done management and consultant work for small to big cultural entities, private and public, and have designed and implemented a wide range of events and business creative programs. In the last 3 years he has co-ordinated 3 national studies for the Portuguese Government (Independent Arts and Cultural Heritage) and for the Portuguese contemporary dance network. Since 2007 he has been invited by the main Portuguese Universities to teach master classes on the subjects of arts management, cultural markets, intersections between arts and business, and creativity in the business context.

The entire article is in the process of journal publishing.

To know more about Ricardo Moreira, please click here. You can also contact him here.

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