In my previous work at Arts & Business Council and Americans for the Arts, I worked with Ted Buswick of the Boston Consulting Group, where he worked with his colleagues in BCG's consulting group on the role poetry can play in business strategy development. Ted has now co-authored a new book, What Poetry Brings to Business. The lead author is Clare Morgan, director of the graduate creative writing program at the University of Oxford. Kirsten Lange of BCG's Munich office, also contributed.The book is published by the University of Michigan Press.
This book is a fascinating read and offers "ways in which reading and thinking about poetry can offer businesspeople new strategies for reflection on their companies, their daily tasks, and their work environments." The poets whose work is cited range from the expected - Dana Gioia, past Chairman of the NEA and a former corporate executive - to the perhaps surprising such as Keats and Yeats.
The Foreword is by John Barr, President of the Poetry Foundation, a published poet, and an investment banker and corporate executive. Barr notes that while poetry is clearly known as a creative art, business also is a creative art, that a new company, a new business solution requires an idea, and that an idea is an act of the imagination. Coincidentally a new study just came out in Fast Company this week noting that the #1 leadership quality cited as essential to today's CEO is creativity. And I was also reminded of Andy Warhol's quote, which I actually have framed in my office: "Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art."