Too often, the arts and business exist in different worlds. But now, more than ever, the arts can teach us how to see and hear, about the process of creativity, and how to find inspiration from unlikely sources. As automation and artificial intelligence shape the future of work, those who understand how to leverage seemingly unrelated ideas to solve complex and unstructured problems—what artists do all the time—will remain valued and relevant. These four programs illustrate the bridge between those worlds and demonstrate that value for business today.


Program 1

The Art of Listening: Exploring the Heart of Emotional Intelligence

Speaking well—with brevity, clarity, and focus—is highly valued. We admire those who can explain complex ideas, spin a narrative, and make what is intangible clear to those around them. But the talent of a skilled listener is perhaps even more important. 

Listening uncovers information, demonstrates emotional intelligence, and shows respect. It is one of the most valuable people-skills you can learn, in business and in life.

Using music as a guide and model, The Art of Listening teaches the three necessary stages of listening—awareness, technique, and intention. Participants come away with a path towards improvement and a renewed appreciation and understanding of this critical ability.

 

Participants will
Understand the importance of suspending judgment in a conversation
Learn the behavioral tools to listen with focus
Know how to manage distractions


Program 2

The Art of Teams: Achieving Excellence as Equals

How do you pass the lead in a self-directed team? How do you ensure that members sup- port one another as the role of leader moves through the group?

The Art of Teams presents the teaming process of the string quartet in a dynamic and interactive program—featuring a live ensemble— that demonstrates shared leadership, speed and efficiency in communication, and clarity of intention.

This program is designed for executives who need to navigate collaborative relationships, especially in cross-functional and senior leadership teams where there is often no obvious hierarchy. It models how sharing leadership strengthens the team. It demonstrates the important difference between following and supporting. Participants come away with a greater understanding of how to listen actively in a team—and then how to communicate clearly and decisively.

 

Participants will
• Understand the importance of fully sharing ideas
• Know why to support a colleague, not follow them
• Experience the power of focus and intention in team communication


Program 3

The Art of Constraints: How to Innovate by Thinking Inside the Box

“Think outside the box!” has long been the mantra of innovation. But when it comes to being creative and solving problems, having too many options can be stifling—sometimes even paralyzing.

Whether it’s William Shakespeare composing his greatest works in iambic pentameter, the Japanese poetry master Basho writing in the strict forms of haiku, or Johann Sebastian Bach, who found freedom in the most re- strained musical structures, those in the arts have long recognized this. But the value of constraints applies equally to business, technology, finance, and medicine.

The Art of Constraints uses models from art, music, and literature to demonstrate the power of limitations—inspiring us to take advantage of opportunities that others never see.

 

Participants will
• Discover that Creativity = Imagination + Discipline
• Understand how constraints bring problems into focus
• Experience how “the box” keeps us from being distracted


Program 4

The Art of Observation: Discovering the Key to Creative Problem Solving

Focused observation is one of the most elusive yet powerful techniques of creative people. It enables them to leverage their expertise across disciplines. It stimulates insight and produces new ideas.

Four hundred years ago the scientist Galileo Galilei’s love of music and his experience as a lute player held the surprising key to one of his most important accomplishments—the formulation of his “Law of Falling Bodies.” That Galileo was able to apply knowledge from one part of his life to another was brilliant, but it wasn’t luck.

In The Art of Observation Benjamin Wolff leads participants through the structure and process of this kind of innovative thought. With live performances of 17th-century Italian music and a reenactment of Galileo’s breakthrough experiment of the Inclined Plane, this program in- structs and inspires—revealing in words, sights, and sounds how insight often emerges from where we least expect it.

 

Participants will
• Experience the power of peripheral thinking in solving complex problems
• Learn how active observation reveals hidden connections
• Understand that transferring observations from one context to another can overcome our tendency to compartmentalize knowledge