Business and the Arts

Someone recently asked me how I would facilitate collaboration between business and the arts. Intriguing, if abstract, question. But a good one, especially for a professional facilitator and OD Guy, who is also a poet.

Such a collaboration will be a difficult challenge because business and the arts are two vastly different worlds.

The artist is primarily concerned with artistic expression. Whether in paint, words, music, or whatever medium, the artist is trying to express an idea, an image, a memory, or a deeply felt impulse. The artist is generally unconcerned by schedules, meetings, deadlines, deliverables, and such.

The business person, in contrast, is all about schedules, meetings, deadlines, deliverables, projects, costs, and customers. The business person is primarily concerned with getting stuff done and making a profit.

In view of this disparity, one of the chief questions a facilitator should ask is, Why are these people coming together? What is it that they hope to jointly achieve?

With a common ground and common goal established, the rest of the collaboration design can proceed.

Posted by Terrence Seamon, 04/29/2006


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