The modern workforce is changing and the emergence of creative professionals as an economic force is asking something different of leaders. To put it simply, it seems economically untenable for leaders to make decisions about issues and topics about which those reporting to them know more.
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.
Much of the world of management is built around drawing maps. And maps are wonderful things if the things that the map represents are manageable. All too often we confuse the map with the terrain, though, and we imagine that while many leaders would like the map, many of those in the water would prefer the canoe.