Also known as arts-based initiatives, creative interventions consist in actions involving people, practices or products promoted and carried out by creative people and artists who enter the world of (non-art-based) organisations. This is an interesting phenomenon that has come to the foreground in recent years in the search for new ways of seeing and doing things in organisations.
There are straightforward examples showing that creative interventions or inclusions are based on the idea that businesses can overtake and learn from the knowledge, skills, models and values inherent in different fields of art.
What forms can creative interventions take?
- The examples below can actually demonstrate how effective the cooperation between the creative and artistic sectors with other non-creative sectors can be:
- conductors of orchestras and choirs give presentations at management conferences and talk about ways to guide a big team of musicians through a long process to reach a common goal
- theatre actors teach how to use one’s voice and understand body language – through various techniques
- dancers cooperate with interior designers and artists contribute to the creation of organizations’ visions and development plans.
Creative interventions are powerful means to have positive impacts on existing processes, organisations, audiences or situations as well as to search for new ways of expression to different fields of arts to broaden their limits and scope.
In 2013 at the final conference of a European Commission funded project Creative Clash, KEA European Affairs (an international policy design research centre specialised in culture and creative industries, sport, education and youth) presented practices of artistic intervention in Europe. They stated that “artistic interventions in organisations consist in bringing people, products and processes from the arts into the workplace. Creative or artistic interventions are original forms of guidance to organisations wishing to encourage creativity, self-development, disruptive thinking, new interactions with a view to making their organisation more effective and productive, better equipped to confront challenges, inspired by increased solidarity and better working conditions.“
Through creative interventions, creatives and artists enter a non-artistic context in an attempt to instigate change and meet the need of organisations to find innovative solutions to situations that do not correspond to changed times or their current stage of development.
How do creative interventions actually work?
The company well-being is at the core of the creative interventions representing tangible and/or intangible tools to foster teambuilding, communication training, leadership development, problem solving and innovation processes as well as to contribute to strategic process of organisational transformation, involving personal development and leadership, culture and identity, creativity and innovation, as well as customer relations and marketing.
In fact, the key value that non-creative businesses gain from the creative interventions consists in getting support from creative people, artists, their practices, services and products in addressing, exploring and overcoming:
a) critical issues the organisations are facing including:
- interpersonal conflicts
- deficiencies in leadership
- improper delegation
- resistance to collaboration
- stifled innovation
- aversion to risk
- avoidance of responsibility
- damaged confidence
- lack of focus
- dysfunctional relationships
- conflicting values
- mistrust and disrespect
- challenges in customer relationships
b) situations arising from these problems that may result in outright blocks for the organisations, which face difficulties in:
- innovating their products, services, processes and technologies
- becoming more ethical and socially responsible by understanding employees’ problems and needs in order to generate a quality working environment, networking with partner employers
- recovering from bankruptcy, which results in critical emotional issues in organisations related to such events
- managing time and resources effectively
Therefore, the most significant benefits are:
- getting fresh perspectives from different stakeholders (managers, employees, artists and sometimes intermediary organizations that produce creative interventions)
- engaging employees, collaborators or entrepreneurs themselves in productive and impactful practices improving their well-being and peer-to-peer experiences
- gaining key contributions to strategic and operational factors as productivity, efficiency, recruitment and reputation, but this is the area that is mentioned least frequently in the research‐based publications, including collaborative ways of working and personal development
- working collaboratively rather than simply together to support each other in acting and engaging in change
- activating informal physical and intangible spaces to experience new ways of seeing, thinking, and doing things that add value for them personally.