The international CEB – Creative Economy and Beyond conference was held at the Helsinki Cable Factory on September 9-10 during the Helsinki Design Week. The conference brought over 300 opinion leaders together to hear Professor Adler and other keynote speakers deliver new information on the significance of creative competence for developing businesses, innovative policies and the public sector.
A creative economy is highly prized in today’s era of globalisation. This is especially relevant to industrially developed nations which don’t possess plentiful natural resources or a cheap labour force. From Helsinki Business Hub point of view hosting a global conference on the creative economy in Helsinki is another proof of the fact that being an innovative, creative economy is one of Finland’s hallmarks
The conference was coordinated by Creative Industries Finland at the Helsinki University of Technology along with the University of Art and Design Helsinki, the Turku School of Economics, the University of Tampere, the Foundation for Cultural Policy Research Cupore and Creative Tampere.
Creative leadership should learn from the arts
Professor, management consultant and artist Nancy J. Adler from the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, Canada, believes strongly that the global crises we are facing today require new measures and creative leadership. “The way to solve financial, poverty, health, education, peace and environmental crises is to collaborate and to use our creativity like never before. Artists possess a useful skill that business leaders could learn from.”
“In today’s global society power is increasingly in the hands of private sector. The market forces dominate and multinational companies are among the largest economies. Businesses are in a key role to become co-creators of society’s welfare and people demand good global corporate citizenship.” According to Adler, the creative economy is extreme creativity combined with a huge market potential to solve problems worthy of solving, solutions worthy of our humanity.
“Seeing the world in a new way is a skill that most artists possess. What is obvious is that the 20th century management skills are incapable of solving the problems mentioned above.” The time is right for the cross-fertilization of the arts and the leadership. Organizations call on their people for more creativity, more commitment and more innovation. The best imaginative ideas are essential (a primary competence of an artist!). Organizational structures have to develop team-based collaborative skills that have always been familiar to actors, dancers and musicians as well as the skills to improvise.
According to Adler, a good business leader and an artistic leader have three things in common. First, courage to see and face the reality as it is, even if other people refuse to see it. Secondly, courage to envision, to see possibility when other people do not, and thirdly, courage to inspire people to move from the current reality back to possibility. Trends like rapidly increasing interconnectedness show how everything matters and fast change is inevitable.
Adler, N.J. 2009, Reality in Translation: Art Transforming Possibility into Reality, CEB – Creative Economy and Beyond, International Conference, Helsinki, Sept. 9.
Adler, N.J.2006. The Arts &Leadership: Now That We Can Do Anything, What Will We Do? Academy of Management Learning and Education Journal, vol. 5 (no.4) 2006
Summary of the keynote presentations 23/Sept/09.
Text by Ms. Anne Tapanainen, Creative Industries Finland