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The Illusion of Leadership: Directing Creativity in Business and the Arts PDF

167 Pages·2008·0.816 MB·English
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The Illusion of Leadership This page intentionally left blank The Illusion of Leadership Directing Creativity in Business and the Arts Piers Ibbotson © Piers Ibbotson 2008 Softcover reprint of the hardcover 1st edition 2008 978-0-230-20199-6 All rights reserved. No reproduction, copy or transmission of this publication may be made without written permission. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with written permission or in accordance with the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, or under the terms of any licence permitting limited copying issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency, Saffron House, 6-10 Kirby Street, London EC1N 8TS. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages. The author has asserted his right to be identifi ed as the author of this work in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. First published 2008 by PALGRAVE MACMILLAN Palgrave Macmillan in the UK is an imprint of Macmillan Publishers Limited, registered in England, company number 785998, of Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 6XS. Palgrave Macmillan in the US is a division of St Martin’s Press LLC, 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010. Palgrave Macmillan is the global academic imprint of the above companies and has companies and representatives throughout the world. Palgrave® and Macmillan® are registered trademarks in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and other countries. ISBN 978-1-349-30015-0 ISBN 978-0-230-20200-9 (eBook) DOI 10.1057/9780230202009 This book is printed on paper suitable for recycling and made from fully managed and sustained forest sources. Logging, pulping and manufacturing processes are expected to conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 08 C ONTENTS List of Figures viii Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 Chapter 1 Creativity – Myths and Legends 5 Chapter 2 The Illusion of Leadership 9 Directing creativity 9 Poets, fakes and sleeping lions 10 The gaze 11 Creative constraints and how to use them 12 The leadership illusion 15 Directing vs. managing – the Russian experiment 16 Why setting targets is a waste of time 19 The uncarved block 21 Chapter 3 Project-Managing a Work of Art 22 The (misty) vision thing 25 The perfect audience of one 26 Summary 28 Chapter 4 Great Directing: A Case Study 30 Rehearsing King Lear 31 Chapter 5 Hierarchy and Status Games 35 Visiting India 35 Playing status 37 The giant’s robe on the dwarfi sh thief 39 Hierarchy and status: the tree-house game 43 Briefi ng the general 44 Sex and status games: invisible women 47 Is dissembling a sin? 49 Chapter 6 Masks and the Sense of Self 51 The immutable self 51 Clowns and ringmasters: training the masked actor 54 Being Badger 58 v Contents vi Chapter 7 Creativity in Groups 63 Weird produces wonderful: casting for creativity 63 Hair-washing and the puppy game 64 My grandmother’s hat 67 The Three Fears 69 Suspending status games: the creative ensemble 70 Chapter 8 Creativity, Innovation and Leadership 74 Men in tights and old music: the paradox of innovation in the arts 74 The solitary plagiarist 75 Casting and diversity: the concentric organization 77 What play are we in? 79 Stars and bit-players 81 Too many Hamlets 82 Fake creativity 83 Chapter 9 Live Communication: The Business of Theater 85 Being self-conscious 86 Words and actions 87 The usefulness of Chinese whispers 90 Communication styles 92 Chapter 10 Giving Presentations: The Theater of Business 94 Bridging the gap 95 Acting on – acting out: live communication as action 96 Summary 97 Pity the poor punters: the passive audience 97 Chapter 11 The Script 101 Euro-blather, business-speak and other languages 101 The telling detail: rediscovering the power of words 105 Truth, lies and presentations 108 Chapter 12 Rehearsing for Business and for Life 110 Image theater as a tool for organizations 111 The trap of ambiguity 113 Case study: the shooting party 116 Chapter 13 Training for Creative Leadership 119 Apprenticeship, mastery and transcendence 119 Chapter 14 Art in the World 125 Audacity and risk-taking 125 Being bold 126 Contents vii Chapter 15 Why Artists Should Rule the World 129 The problem of giraffeness 130 Leading with a misty vision 131 Keeping God out of the picture 133 The selfi shness myth 135 The infl uence of sleeping lions 136 “Author, Author!!” 137 Donald Rumsfeld – a cautionary tale 139 Ruskin’s question 143 Bibliography 147 Index 149 L F IST OF IGURES 3.1 How to get a play from the page to the stage 23 8.1 Concentric and hierarchical organizational diagrams 81 9.1 Communication styles and their uses 93 viii A CKNOWLEDGMENTS Nothing comes from nothing. As I hope this book clearly states, all the things we make are made from other things. Nothing in this book is origi- nal except the way I have written it and the conjunctions I have made. I have, as all artists do, threaded together fragments of other people’s ideas and perceptions and woven them into my own narrative. Where I can be reasonably sure of the source of an idea or argument I have referred to a book or books that I know laid out those ideas. In many places I have stated as my own, ideas which others may recognize. This may be forget- fulness or it may be coincidence. If it feels like plagiarism it may well be; but unconscious plagiarism. I have not made an exhaustive search of the literature; so much of what I say may be out there already, even if I may feel I have discovered it myself. I hope that anyone who feels their ideas have been appropriated will feel free to correct me and, I hope, forgive me. I know I stand on the shoulders of others – it’s just that sometimes I can’t quite remember their names. Among those whose names I can recall are: Tom Lloyd, Lotte Darsø, Michael Davids, Iain Mangham, Mary Midgley, Colin Funk, David Honigmann, Diana Winstanley, Tim Stockil and Arts and Business, Kate Sinclair, Dan Milne, Iain Oag, Barbara Houseman, Cis Berry, Adrian Jackson, Max Stafford Clark, Captain Joe Kay, Toby Wilshire and Trestle Theater Company, Jane Hilberry. Without their direct or indirect contribu- tions I would never have got this far. Most of the core ideas are from the work of Keith Johnstone and of Augusto Boal whose work I have admired and appropriated for many years. Piers Ibbotson ix

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