The creative arts can inspire and ignite corporate creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

Business leaders at global convention told that corporate policies and compliance practices must change and the creative arts embraced
By: Policy Publications
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas
Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas
PETERBOROUGH, U.K. - April 24, 2017 - PRLog -- Business leaders at a global convention in Dubai have been told that engagement with the creative arts can be the key to creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. According to Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas, author of Winning Companies, Winning People: "For companies to become more effective incubators of new ventures, corporate policies, rules, guidelines, standards, codes and compliance practices may need to change and the creative arts embraced."

Coulson-Thomas emphasised: "The creative arts are undergoing a revolution. Digital technologies are creating new opportunities for engagement and involvement. They are opening up new arenas for innovation and entrepreneurship. They are democratising enjoyment of the arts and participation in the arts. More people can now find their voice and express their creativity. Channels of communication have become more open, inclusive and participative. We have more ways of being creative, connecting with others, and sharing our creativity than any generation in history."

He continued: "The creative arts can enrich both working and leisure activities. They are ripe for enterprise and social entrepreneurship. They also reach beyond practitioners. They embrace the audiences, followers and exhibition visitors who enjoy their work at home or in the community.

Collaboration with creative artists can unleash energy and ignite thinking. Creative artists in residence and creative arts activities can stimulate imagination, innovation and entrepreneurship across work groups, communities and organisations."

The Professor believes: "The creative arts can address social issues. They offer participation and self-employment as an alternative to boredom, delinquency and crime. They provide scope for philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship. The creative arts are also sustainable. Repetitive and rule-based tasks can be automated. Unstructured creative activities are more resistant to replacement by technology."

Coulson-Thomas pointed out: "For business success, creative ideas have to be developed and commercialised. Innovation and entrepreneurial flair may be needed to deliver tangible offerings or acceptable solutions at affordable prices, that enough people will buy to cover costs and generate a profit. While Pixar exuded creativity, attention was also devoted to practical business issues such as brand building, rights and acknowledgements. Addressing contractual matters ensured the studio derived the maximum of credit and benefit from its creativity and promising ideas."

Options, choices and possibilities are multiplying. Coulson-Thomas stresses: "As new business and economic models emerge, past strengths can become sources of weakness and vulnerability. Directors need to be alert to defensive responses and attempts to protect vested interests. Education and involvement in the creative arts can enhance, enable, enrich and empower. It can stimulate the creativity and commitment that leads to successful innovation and entrepreneurship."

The Professor believes that the creative arts can be an effective route to entrepreneurship: "Sir James Dyson the inventor, industrial designer and vacuum cleaner entrepreneur was educated at the Byam Shaw School of Art and the Royal College of Art. The School for the Creative Arts aims to give people the ability to explore and develop ideas, implement a business plan and fulfil commissions. Its role is to give people the ability and confidence to express themselves and become successful practitioners."

Coulson-Thomas feels: "Business leaders need to discuss, consult and consider where creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship are most needed. What should they be applied to and for what purpose? What might their relevance, significance and value be for customers and prospects? Should we also take a wider range of interests into account when deciding when, where and for whom to be creative, innovative and entrepreneurial?"

In conclusion, he told delegates: "To have a dream can be inspiring. A relevant and affordable offering can provide an income. In business both thinking and doing are required. We need aspiration and achievement. The requirements for effective corporate leadership and successful entrepreneurship are converging. In some contexts they may soon overlap to such an extent as to be almost indistinguishable. I wish you well as both leaders and entrepreneurs."

An experienced director, Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas advises boards and has helped directors in over 40 countries to improve board and corporate performance. He was sharing key lessons from his recent investigations during a plenary session of the Dubai Global Convention 2017 and 27th World Congress on Business Excellence and Innovation which was held at the Hotel The Grand Hyatt, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas leads the International Governance Initiative of the Order of St Lazarus, is Chancellor of the School for the Creative Arts, Director-General, IOD India, UK and Europe operations, and chair of the Audit and Risk Committee of United Learning. Author of over 60 books and reports he has held professorial appointments in Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East, India and China. Colin was educated at the London School of Economics, London Business School, UNISA and the Universities of Aston, Chicago and Southern California, is a fellow of seven chartered bodies and obtained first place prizes in the final exams of three professions. Details of his latest books and reports can be found on

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