The creative arts help to define and express our humanity, societies and civilisation. They engage, educate and inform, communicate and differentiate, and inspire and motivate. They are significant sectors in some local, regional and national economies. They generate employment, entrepreneurial opportunities and financial benefits. They contribute to soft power, cultural wealth and individual and collective well being.
After 40 years as an author, editor, publishing director, board director and/or columnist I believe the creative arts are more important than ever. They create wealth, improve our living and working environments, address social issues and reach excluded groups. Barriers to creativity and entrepreneurship are falling. We have more ways of being creative, connecting with others and sharing our creativity than any generation in history.
As a judge of awards for digital innovation I see new arenas opening up for involvement, innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative arts. Innovative applications are democratising enjoyment of the creative arts and participation in them. While rule-based tasks can be automated, unstructured and creative activities are more resistant to replacement by machines and software applications. Creative thinking is the key skill requirement.
I have helped people in over 40 countries to build businesses and more effective boards and organisations. The creative arts can overcome divisions and break down barriers between people and technology, work and leisure and academic and vocational education. They can change aspirations and expectations and lead to more fulfilling and sustainable lifestyles.
Since being the world’s first professor of corporate transformation, I have championed quicker, more affordable and less disruptive routes to high performance organisations than can achieve multiple objectives simultaneously for the benefit of people, organisations and the environment.
My various publications put the case for ‘new leadership’ and shifting the emphasis from directing, motivating and monitoring people to helping and supporting them. We need to provide people with the personalised support to share insights, emulate the approaches of high performers and remain current, relevant and vital in contexts that may be changing, uncertain and insecure.
As a vision holder of successful transformation programmes and founder chairman of award winning companies I understand the value of innovation. The creative arts can encourage people to think, question and challenge by exposing them to tangible expressions of views from different ages, arenas and societies. They can also enable people to produce designs and artefacts that express their own responses and views in a richer variety of ways than just the written or spoken word.
As a director, dean, head of a university campus, chairman and president of think tanks and a professional body, and in professorial roles in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, India and China I have learned the importance of imagination, vision and purpose. An education in the creative arts can enhance, enrich and empower. It can help to stimulate the creativity and commitment that can lead to successful invention and entrepreneurship.
The School for the Creative Arts will give people the understanding, skills and confidence to express themselves and become successful practitioners. Its founder Christian Obeng Boadi is committed to building, inspiring and supporting leadership for creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in the creative arts. I support his vision and the school’s purpose. I hope that you will do the same.
Dr./Prof. Colin Coulson-Thomas