Art is a Hammer

In a short but interesting piece in the Harvard Business Review, John Maeda & Becky Bermont provoke with Why Business Leaders Should Act More like Artists.

Their three big “ahas” around breaking stereotypes and working like artists are 1) artists constantly collaborate, 2) artists are talented communicators, and 3) artists learn how to learn together. All good stuff.

But I found their notion of artist as leader (related to my previous post mentioning the designer as auteur) to be something that resonated strongly for me:

“Whether they explicitly acknowledge themselves as leaders or not, artists often move others to follow them — into neighborhoods, into a new a social movement, or even just a dialogue. They do it through the skills that are inherent in their work as professional “inspirers” and provocateurs. Sure, some artists might be introverts and some extroverts, but through their art, they act as creative leaders in their boldness to often express a point of view as the naked truth.”

It’s a reminder of the importance of artists and designers. The quote “Art is not a mirror – art is a hammer” (of uncertain origin) seems particularly relevant. A call to arms, yet again, for designers to step-up and lead.

(Link via Ann Enkoji and ForYour Art.)