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An Alliance Between Arts and Business Education

Birgit Wildt

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The Council For Excellence in Management & Leadership (CEML) predict that by 2010, skills and competencies like risk-taking, enterprise, initiative and managing oneself and others will enable managers and managerial leaders to grasp the right opportunities and to deal with creativity and innovation. Recognizing qualitative shortfalls in management skills, the report of the Advisory Group highlights not only the lack of people management skills, but recognizes also an under-development of the ability to take action. Therefore, and according to Alimo-Metcalf (2000), leadership and management studies focus more and more on experiential action learning and offer ‘New Age’ teaching techniques (Beech 2000) ranging from visualization, philosophy, literature, film to the performing arts.
     The European Business School London (EBS –L) is part of the new category sitting outside the traditional ‘teaching box’ by adding effective entertainment content to management and leadership studies. LCP (a combination of three undergraduate modules: Leadership and Management, Creative Management, Psychology and Dramatic Arts) is part of a new business learning experience embedded in the EBS-L Honors degree, linking business theory to managerial practice. Working increasingly in partnership – and in competition – with dramatists, publishers, filmmakers and broadcasters by actively partaking in film-festivals (e.g. London, Berlin and Cannes), LCP students are given the opportunity to explore real-life opportunities. As a self-financed company registered in 2004, LCP Experience Ltd. instigates a flow of positive energy among undergraduates who are driven towards a clearly distinct goal - to succeed both creatively and financially. The growing interdependency between Arts and Business requires disciplined thinking on the one side and the encouragement of curiosity, initiative, and originality on the other. LCP generates an experience which empowers and transforms and makes knowledge explicit in words, images, structures, motions and symbols to stimulate the unexpected; the anticipated surprise. According to Michael Dawids, Consortium Director of the Learning Lab Denmark, the creative alliance between Arts and Business in an emerging field of practice which is part of a new trend of aesthetic thinking and experiential learning (Stenstroem 2000).

Author Bio(s)

Birgit Wildt is a Senior Lecturer in Management and Module Leader of LCP at the European Business School London. A graduate of the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien in Vienna, Birgit worked for over a decade as a classical dancer, actress and singer in Austria and Germany before commencing her academic career in the field of management and leadership studies. After completing her MBA in International Management as well as her MPhil/PhD in arts based learning and management training and development, Birgit founded LCP Experience Ltd., a new business concept for undergraduate management and business students at the European Business School London (EBS-L). As a member of the Austrian/German Equity, Birgit developed a strong Arts/Management based interface. Her students participate regularly in film festivals including Cannes, Berlin and London. Birgit’s empirical action research integrates the use of performing arts techniques (e.g. Stanislavsky’s Psycho-Technique) in the development of leadership characteristics in international management and business students.