Written by Professor Grier Palmer, Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning at Warwick Business School
Creativity and business are often seen as two separate entities, but a new initiative at Warwick is set to merge the two more than ever before. Here, Grier Palmer discusses the partnership and explains how creativity and business can go hand in hand. How are some of the ideas suggested being applied at Warwick Business School? Professor Mark Taylor, Dean of the Business School, is convinced ‘that engagement with the Arts is a way of nurturing the creative impulse that is within every one of our students in order to help them become outstanding business leaders. It’s a different way of approaching business and management education’. A podcast introducing the initiative is now available for you to listen to.
Warwick Business School’s strategy is clearly to be world-class. But we don’t have to be like everyone else to achieve this. We say ‘we see things differently’ and we can help others to do so too. Our new multi-project programme, Working Capital, encompasses the approaches of the Arts, creative individuals and the creative sector and applies these to the world of business to develop stronger creativity and innovation in WBS teaching, learning and research.
This new initiative was launched in London in November 2010 when guest speakers ranged from painter and sculptor Naser Azam, David Kester, CEO of the Design Council, and Chris Bilton, Director of Warwick’s Centre for Cultural Policy Studies. At the same time Jonothan Neelands, Chair of Drama and Theatre Education at Warwick’s Institute of Education, joined WBS as Chair of Creative Education. As well as his academic profile, Jonothan is an experienced drama practitioner and coach with ‘acting to learn and learning to act’ as a key theme in his work. He is a proponent of Open-space Learning which, he says, ‘works to open up issues with creative criticality and demonstrates how the Arts can facilitate originality, higher level of learning and stimulate a person’s deeper development’. Jonothan leads in the new collaboration between the Business School and the Royal Shakespeare Company to create a Centre for Teaching Shakespeare at Warwick which will offer on-line and residential courses to teachers in the UK and across the world.
So how is all this being applied at WBS? Many of our WBS faculty are exploring how to introduce creativity and innovative teaching into their students’ learning from undergraduate to doctoral level. For example, in WBS’s largest undergraduate degree course, the BSc in Accounting and Finance, Louise Gracia is using creative materials like poetry and literary text to support students in challenging existing accounting knowledge and practice to find aspects/views of accounting that are otherwise obscured and Ann-Christine Frandsen has been working on Dancing the Dow: Choreographing Financial Data. Stephen Roper and Grier Palmer are leading a project to generate new types of cases for teaching and learning with new formats and media to create more challenging studies, closer to the complex and dynamic situations executives face in the real world.
"...engagement with the Arts is a way of nurturing the creative impulse that is within every one of our students..."
For our alumni we are setting up a series of Working Capital workshops which aim to bring in share and stimulate creative experiences, projects and ideas, building fruitful relationships with our creative colleagues across the University and with WBS creative alumni in digital media, film, music and performance. Simon M. Wood, founder of the European Drama Network, editor of movie_zine, and a WBS graduate, will be joined by director Malachi Bogdanov on 6 July (FN 6.30-8pm, Warwick Business School. Contact workingcapital at wbs dot ac dot uk to book a place.) to talk about a drama based view of the banking crisis. It’s a first step towards developing an ongoing Creative Network.
Professor Mark Taylor, Dean of the Business School, is convinced ‘that engagement with the Arts is a way of nurturing the creative impulse that is within every one of our students in order to help them become outstanding business leaders. It’s a different way of approaching business and management education’.
You can now listen to a podcast introducing the Working Capital project featuring Professor Grier Palmer, Professor Mark Taylor, Professor Jonathan Neelands and Simon Woods, founder of the European Drama Network.
Professor Grier Palmer is Assistant Dean, Teaching and Learning at Warwick Business School. He is responsible for the Working Capital initiative, a multiple project bridging WBS to creative alumni, creative organisations and across the University collaborating with arts colleagues and the Arts centre.
Before coming to Warwick in 2005, Dr Susan Brock was a Librarian, working as Head of Library and Information Resources at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and at the Shakespeare Institute of The University of Birmingham (where she is still an Honorary Fellow). She was for five years Executive Secretary of the International Shakespeare Association. She is a member of Warwick's Centre for the Study of the Renaissance.
Professor Mark P Taylor is Dean of WBS. Professor Taylor has outstanding credentials both in academia, and in the business & policy worlds.
Professor Jonothan Neelands is a National Teaching Fellow, Chair of Drama and Theatre Education and Director of Teaching and Learning in the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick. He is an experienced trainer and workshop leader with a national and international reputation for delivering high quality professional training and development opportunities.
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