Art Thinking: Business meets artistic creativity

What are 15 intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs and consultants doing together in a studio? They are realizing a giant artwork – in just three hours.

Under the guidance of artist, author and speaker Jörg Reckhenrich, Prof. René Mauer and Michael Faschingbauer, the participants of the Effectuation Seminar train entrepreneurial thinking in uncertain and unpredictable contexts. The aim of the workshop is to experience the creativity of artistic thinking and to use it in a business context – a teaching method that we also use in our programmes such as the Executive Master in Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership or U-SCHOOL.

A giant artwork created by 15 participants – was it a collective creation or a frustrating failure? Participants Jan Pauen and Jan-Malte Vogelsmeier tell us more about their experience:

“When we look at the finalized wall-mounted installation, we can see a wild mixture of exhaustion, pride and amazing self-critical serenity. This was preceded by an exciting, sometimes exhausting creative process:

Two or three small groups work uncoordinatedly in silence until Jörg Reckhenrich starts his first intervention. He wants us to refrain and to recognize patterns, to evaluate and arrange our next steps – without a goal.

This is followed by coordinated work on two or three themes. We work on contours and improve our creation until the second intervention takes place. A group discussion becomes a group exploration. This gives us alternative ideas that are introduced until the outlines of a composition appear.

Afterwards, design ideas and controversies are negotiated for the first time. Parts of the composition are removed and altered to develop a complete work that follows a design goal which is still unclear. First retreat movements take place. Individual groups observe and discuss, others work on their composition.

At the next intervention, the energy has reached its low point. Give up or continue? The goal is recognizable, but not yet achieved. Individual exploration opens up new perspectives and at the same time builds bridges to existing patterns. The phase of moderation starts – and based on individual opinions, intervention goals are formulated: Where to invest, where to take away and where to combine?

The last phase begins. We do not only have a design goal, but also an individual, collective design claim. Now everyone has come so far, all are keen to succeed. Our eyes are sharpened for our own (dis)fortune and we explore joint creativity. In the end there is no homogeneous work of art, but an experience that affects everyone with its energy.”