What Poetry Brings to Business

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University of Michigan Press, 2010 - Business & Economics - 267 pages
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"Creativity is a means of controlling chaos, finding order. Business and poetry draw their waters out of the same well."
---John Barr, President, Poetry Foundation

"At last there is a book that explores the deep but unexpected connections between business and poetry. Clare Morgan and her colleagues demonstrate how the creative energy, emotional power, and communicative complexity of poetry relate directly to the practical needs for innovation and problem solving that face business managers. There has never been a book on developing managerial potential quite like this one."
---Dana Gioia, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts and a former corporate executive at General Foods

What does poetry bring to business? According to Clare Morgan and her coauthors, it brings complexity and flexibility of thinking, along with the ability to empathize with and better understand the thoughts and feelings of others. Through her own experiences and many examples, Morgan demonstrates that the skills necessary to talk and think about poetry can be of significant benefit to leaders and strategists, to executives who are facing infinite complexity and who are armed with finite resources in a changing world.

What Poetry Brings to Business presents ways in which reading and thinking about poetry offer businesspeople new strategies for reflection on their companies, their daily tasks, and their work environments. The goal is both to increase and broaden readers' understanding of poems and how they convey meaning, and also to help readers develop analytical and cognitive skills that will be beneficial in a business context. The unique combinations and connections made in this book will open new avenues of thinking about poetry and business alike.

Clare Morgan is Director of the graduate creative writing programme at the University of Oxford. She has run workshops and given presentations on this topic in the United States, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, and Japan. Dr. Morgan is a fiction writer and critic, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.

Kirsten Lange and Ted Buswick are employed by The Boston Consulting Group, an international management consulting firm, she as Managing Director of the Munich office, he as head of Oral History and Archiving.

 

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Contents

Introduction byBolko von Oetinger
1
What Socrates Didnt Like about Poets
7
Feeling for the Light Switch
19
My New Colleagues in The Strategy Institute
27
Sharpeners versus Levelers
36
The Case of the StrangeLooking Bird That Landed
47
Traveling through the Dark
55
The Lawyer and the Engineer
64
Hot Cognition
122
Poetry in Public
129
A Poem Too Far
141
Trying It Out
148
Thinking Values
159
Reconnecting Poetry
172
Intelligent Movement
183
The Music of What Happens
191

Trying It Out
71
Poetry and Creativity
83
Breaking the Word Barrier
96
A Revolution in Seeing
105
Poetry versus the Thought Police
115
The Hall of Mirrors
200
The Paths Poetry Opens
209
A Great View of Downtown Tokyo
215
Trying It Out
226
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