For those of us living in both worlds of business and art~ check out the following interview! I think you’ll really enjoy it.
–by Interview with Dana Goia by Knowledge@Wharton, Original Story, Jan 28, 2013
Useem: Let me reverse the question. From your own experience, can business managers themselves benefit the other way around from poetry?
Gioia: Oh absolutely, but I think that my own theory on it may surprise people. I think that if you come into the business, with an arts background, you have a tremendously difficult time initially. This is because it’s a very different world, it looks at problems differently and by and large, they don’t necessarily respect your background.
For that reason, I did not let anyone I worked with know that I was a poet. This is because, let me ask you a question, if you had a poet working for you, wouldn’t you check his or her addition? So privately I went through a very difficult time. That being said, as you rise in business, as you get out of the lower level staff jobs and the quantitative analysis, and you get into the higher level of problems, I felt that I had an enormous advantage over my colleagues because I had a background in the imagination, in language and in literature.
This is because once you get into middle and upper management, the decisions that you make are largely qualitative and creative. And, most people who do really well in the early quantitative stages are grossly unprepared for the real challenges of upper management, at least in marketing which was the industry that I was working in, marketing and product management.