One Organization’s Journey to Connect Art & Business

Posted by Kelly Lamb Pollock On November - 14 - 2011
Kelly Lamb Pollock

Kelly Lamb Pollock

It’s no secret that innovation is valued, even revered, in today’s society. The recent passing of Steve Jobs put into perspective the deep impact even one individual’s revolutionary creativity can have on our world.

Some say Steve Jobs, thankfully for us, was a pioneer.

No matter what you call him, if he is the ideal, shouldn’t we determine how to inject his brand of thinking into that of more of our business leaders?

Yes, becoming more innovative can, and should, begin with arts education and access to the arts at an early age, as my colleague Ken Busby said in his blog post in honor of Jobs.

However, I’m such an optimist that I believe that all is not lost for those GenXers or even, gasp, the Baby Boomers already in the workforce.

It was this thinking that led COCA (Center of Creative Arts) in St. Louis to explore how we could help to foster productive innovation in business through the arts. Read the rest of this entry »

What Arts Managers Can Learn from Steve Jobs

Posted by Jeff Scott On November - 4 - 2011

Jeff Scott

With the recent release of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs, and several other bios scheduled to come out in the near future, there’s a lot of discussion on what kind of a manager Jobs was.

While the management of a publicly-traded tech company and that of a nonprofit arts organization may seem worlds apart, there are some basic kernels that arts leaders can take from Steve Jobs’ career.

We’ve heard a lot about Jobs’ so-called “reality distortion field.” He pushed his employees to the max, believing that work that normally would take a month could be done in a few days. While the pressure was too much for many employees, others said it caused them to do some of the best work of their careers.

For arts managers working with limited resources in terms of people, time, and money, the notion of a reality distortion field is probably a familiar one. So many times we find ourselves making something out of almost nothing and hopefully that something is a brilliant work of art. But what is perhaps more significant is how Jobs handled his employees. Not only did he believe that a particular task could get done a certain way in a certain time frame, he believed that his people would be able to accomplish it. Read the rest of this entry »

A Future Without Jobs

Posted by Ken Busby On October - 14 - 2011




uch has been written, tweeted, Facebooked, and spoken about the passing of Apple genius, Steve Jobs. I remember Apple computers in school. And I remember my first Macintosh computer that my parents bought me.

The computer housing was gray, and the display was gray-scale. But every time I booted it up, there was a smiling computer icon on the screen, and it made me smile.

That may be the greatest legacy of Steve Jobs – he made people smile. With his guidance, computers became accessible and fun and something anyone of any age could use. Today, we are so connected that it’s almost impossible to ever shut down and relax – even for five minutes. And yet as hectic and crazy as our world is, iPhones and iPads make the work fun.

As I began thinking about what the future might be like without Steve Jobs, I started thinking about Jobs the man—an adopted child who built his first computer in his parents’ garage, dropped out of college, would be forced out of the company he founded only to be brought back years later to save it from the brink of irrelevancy, and who would give us such unfathomed realities as iCloud.

This man was about creativity and innovation. Read the rest of this entry »