The arts can play a part

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The Independent Online
The arts can make a contribution to helping organisations develop creative thinking, problem solving, risk taking, team working and other skills that workers will need in the decades ahead, says a report.

Already, some businesses are using drama, music and the arts. The pilot report Work, Creativity and the Arts, which has been commissioned by the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce as part of its three-year programme to change attitudes, argues that management educators need to incorporate more of an artistic dimension in training syllabuses. They should also reappraise the value of the arts and contribute more to the debate with the artists and the business world, it adds.

Among the examples cited in the report is the commissioning of a play by the London Borough of Redbridge as an aid to improving communications in the organisation. The document also describes how Bates Dorland, an advertising agency, approached an organisation called Lively Arts. The brief was to devise a weekend retreat for its account management department to help release creativity within executives who were inclined to feel that this was the preserve of the "creative" department.

Penny Egan, programme development director and head of arts at the RSA, said: "An arts education develops vital, transferable skills which will help to equip people to meet the challenges of the post-industrial society. It is time business re-evaluated its relationship with the arts and recognised the significance of what the arts can directly offer."