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THE ART OF TRANSFORMATIONS: Manifesto for a new Academy of Arts

This article first appeared on LinkedIn


RENAISSANCE HUMANISM 2.0

We know we are living in one of the most transformational times in the human history.

The digital transformation is now impacting not only the organization itself (activities, processes, competencies, responsibilities and business models), but society as a whole: we are already moving from the newborn Industry 4.0 to the next Society 5.0.

Anything that could be automated will be by AI, IoT, Machine Learning and so forth.

We all agree that in this scenario the human approach will become even more strategic than ever, because a lot of core aspects need to be led through this copernican change into a new groove: culture, habits, behaviours, biases, ethics.

Before anything else, this revolution will impact the world of work and career.

The future of work sketched by this transformation is leading to a new kind of worker prototype.

More and more recruiters are looking for hybrid profiles, transdisciplinary talents, less verticalized on a very specific field, “skill-pack” or background but rather more open to different areas of interest and application: science and humanities, robotics and design, finance and neuroscience.. and a lot more.

Let me note that there was another period of time in history in which something similar happened: we call it Renaissance Humanism.

The people who led that time of revolutionary innovation were artists across all genres, such as inventors, architects, painters, composers, mathematicians, astronomers, philosophers, alchemists, orators, politicians.

So let me open a brief outline on what Art actually is.

ART AS POWER OF TRANSFORMATION

Any given definition of Art, even the most accurate one, will always contain a lag compared to the actual expression of Art.

Ironically, the meaning of Art cannot be catched by any definition, because it ultimately lies in that exceeding lag which is nothing but the living - and always slippery - expression of Art.

The miracle of Art is that such excess - unreacheable to definitions - is energy and power of transformation that must be experienced, breathed, eaten, embodied.

Art is not about paintings, museums or exhibitions.

Art is about creativity and technique, design and work, insight and discipline, trial and fail, myth and innovation, science and exercise, vision and performance.

THE HUMAN CAPITAL AS ENERGY CAPITAL

If the digital automation is a fact in the current scenario, the idea of the employee as a body is still a tabu.

It goes far beyond any timid attempt of establishing occasional initiatives of wellness or mindfulness within the same old organizational environment.

The point is: the Human Capital is definitely an Energy Capital, a whole potential of resources that we are wasting by default nowadays.

Can we imagine ourselves in 5 years doing our job passively sitting 10 hours per day (or even more) in the same room, in front of a flickering device copy-pasting values from one table to another one?

We should drive the transformation we are experiencing today toward the job of the future, that will take advantage of more comprehensive human factors: in this groove we meet the transformative power of Art.

A lot of today’s standard concepts within the working imagery are going to be out of date sooner than expected. Just consider some of our current core beliefs, such as overtime, fixed term contract, org. chart, cv, open space, time records and time off, goal setting, then rating, then review and a lot more.

How could we reach this critical point?

FROM EMPLOYEE TO ARTIST

The original misjudgment came perhaps from the oldest occidental bias that repeat his refrain: intellectual genius dominates over body.

Today, is time to change this course.

We have a bunch of Renaissance’s human factors that cannot be acquired as usual skills, since we already own them we only need to set them free.

What are these human factors?

  • Bioenergy and breathing

  • Body expression

  • Awareness and relations

  • Emotions and imagery

  • Anatomy of posture and dance movement therapy

  • Voice and speaking techniques

Sometimes I feel that in our increasingly frequent discussions about innovation we are trapped in vaunted definitions (“disruption of disruptions”) missing that the deep potential of this transformation is given by the same exceeding lag we recognize just a while ago about Art.

This excess is, again, the claim of the living human expression, which is creativity, imagery, movement, rhythm, voice, energy.

Through this comprehensive experience of arts we can train, empower and transform our potential in action: evolving from employee to artist.

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Image by George Pagan III

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