What work does art do?

The creative sector has long worried at how to justify its existence in a language of utility that existing power structures might understand. What work does art do? Some have deployed an economic argument, as attested by the numerous reports that delineate the financial impact of the arts. Others beat a path with the social nonprofits, using complex formulas of impact to rationalize another year of funding. Regardless of the preferred approach, the narrative is still constrained by a logic of work. The arts and creativity serve.

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Can we finally kill the hedgehog?

The stories we construct about organizations and businesses fall victim to a similar tendency to summarize and filter information to suit a particular narrative. Too much leadership and innovation literature offers easy answers to extremely complicated problems. We all want to be the heroes of Gladwell's stories and 'blink' to know what to do. Thousands flock to hear Jim Collins speak about some theoretical bulls-eye that marries passion, economics, and mastery. The idea of the hedgehog concept is a particularly pernicious cognitive shorthand that has found homes in far too many boardrooms and consultancy reception areas.

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