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MANAGING CREATIVITY Project 2A Collaborative Essay AUGUST 26 2010 ISOBELLE POVER-LEONG 3293619 JAG GARCIA 3259093

LEAD ME THERE A Look at Leadership and Management in Arts and Creative Organizations. Beyond the Persona of the ‘LONE HERO’

MANAGING CREATIVITY ISOBELLE POVER-LEONG 3293619 JAG GARCIA 3259093 Project 2A Collaborative Essay AUGUST 26 2010

getty Images RICHARD PRICE


SUMMARY of ACADEMIC PUBLISHED PAPER • Management and Leadership in Arts Organizations • Observations of Orchestral Performance • Organizational Dynamics in A Symphony Orchestra • Leadership in A Symphony Orchestra • Observations of Film Production • Organizational Dynamics on A Film Set • Leadership on A Film Set















SUMMARY Aesthetic Relations in Place of the Lone Hero in Arts Leadership

Principal Conductors The young conductor Gustavo Dudamel from Venezuela is the Principal Conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra since 2007. Official website:

SUMMARY Aesthetic Relations in Place of the Lone Hero in Arts Leadership Marja Soila-Wadman; Ann-Sofie Köping, 2009 Management of organization Introduction The authors, Soila-Wadman & Köping, made an empirical study of examining leadership by comparing two types of arts organizations; a feature film and a symphony orchestra. Early in the stages of qualitative research, using the method of ethnography and interviewing, they were influenced with a romantic view of leader as ‘lone hero’. This is a trait response to a general understanding of the leadership role, being the characteristics and skills of a maestro. Its Italian origins meaning master and teacher, an eighteenth century word, our contemporary understanding is of a distinguished classical musician, an expert, genius and prodigy. The ‘Leadership role’ has been questioned by researchers in aspects such as behavioral style, contingency, symbolic, shared and aesthetic approaches. The study considers the creative process and its leadership, specifically with film directors and orchestral conductors, being widely depicted as the adored hero or lone creative genius (Soila-Wadman & Köping, 2009). “Art should be viewed as a dynamic human activity that in the society is an inspiring and organizing power” (Soila-Wadman & Köping, 2009). Their idea is that leadership is a relational or shared practice especially in the context of art organizations. They look at the decision making process, part of the artistic process as an aesthetic communication, acquired through the five senses with judgments of pleasure and repugnance. This concept being most prevalent in the arts field although not restricted to this, as a part of organizational life (Gagliardi 1996) They seek to show that in their observations of these two fields, both with groups of committed individuals performing to a common end; artistic performance is an interaction of relational perspective where leadership is a shared organization process, to those whom they interact with. It becomes an equal responsibility of the actions they construe jointly. They view leadership as a shared phenomenon highlighting the aesthetics in all kinds of leadership processes.


Observations of Orchestral Performance Co-author, Köping, describes the rehearsals of the orchestra and the conductor over several days of repeated practice varying from short interrupted and compete performances. There is a mutual respect for a soloist, shown with physical responses by the entire orchestra and the conductor. There is the suggestion that the singular presence of the conductor commands attention from the pre-assembled orchestra. This could suggest attitudes of; dominance or superiority of skills and talent. This is a commonly accepted ritual by those in a structured hierarchal team where the most important person entering the workplace commands quiet attention. Most people would wait for instruction from such a leader demonstrating this repose. The rehearsal progresses over days, the entire group work hard by being focused and concentrating deeply. There is a reverence for this effort and a happiness for the mutual outcome and general atmosphere that pervades this professional group. There are exchanges and discussions about the work and its interpretations between the conductor and the musicians. Organizational dynamics in a symphony orchestra There exists a fairly complex language spoken, gestural, artistic and individual interpretations with performing the composition and collectively delivering a coordinated performance that utilizes the technical aspects of comprehending the written language of music, the score. As a result of the close working proximity the players are protective of their personal space, although appearing as a cohesive and coordinated group. ‘Individuals’ wait for validation from the conductor to encourage their expressive interpretations. Leadership in a symphony orchestra This common impression and romantic façade of a conductor as commander, ‘hero’ of a hundred piece orchestra, is demystified in this study. The conductor is dependent on creative exchange between himself and the highly trained group of individual musicians who interpret his composition. It is symbiotic nurture and inspiration and in exchange creating diverse interpretations of the composition. There exists the understanding that a level of trust in the musical talent and abilities of the musicians and their artistic rendering of the composition. At this point the conductor remains humble and approachable letting go of the ownership of interpretation, allowing the musicians to free flow and remain gracefully charismatic. In this observation, the conductor was seen to have extra influence by making eye contact with individuals, signaling the approvals with unspoken facial gestures. Communicating with every member in the orchestra was understood to be part of the job of the conductor. A language specific to the closeness of the orchestral community. There is a codependency that involves trust and respect that everyone is using the same framework of philosophy, to be able to work in a tight and disciplined environment. The profile of this type of artistic worker often has a vocational aspect that transcends the financial exchange and this is acknowledged by being respectful and not taking advantage of their goodwill. This environment is based on the understanding of empathy and sensitivity due to the cramped personal space and limited time to prepare and perform. This professional discipline leverages the musical abilities of the individuals to a collaborative production. Everyone concedes to the boundaries of etiquette and the language of intuitive and interactive signals, making this ground an experienced operation where freedom is the expression of creative interpretation. Observations of Film Production Co-author Soila-Wadman made field observations on a film set and conducted interviews over the span of several days with the director as well as other members of the production crew. She cites that in Sweden (where her research was conducted) that the director owns ‘the rights’ to the final cut of the film – this responsibility has repercussions on the artistic quality of the film as well as to the attributed ‘ownership’ of the finished product. This dynamic attaches the name of the singular ‘hero and leader’ to the work. The ensuing burden on the individual is that his or her reputation as an “artist” is directly linked to the success


or failure of the work rather than being spread amongst the collaborators. “artist” is directly linked to the success or failure of the work rather than being spread amongst the collaborators. This dynamic also means that the director shoulders the responsibility of balancing to non-artistic elements of the film such as budgets, personnel, technical matters and artistic ambitions. The director then, aside from visionary artist, also takes on the mantle of manager. Organizational dynamics on a film set On a film set the singular visionary is the director and the crew on the set work towards achieving this artistic vision. The set can be a place of controlled chaos with equipment moving around, make-up artists working on actors, camera operators taking measurements and a host of other professionals going about their tasks, yet at the call of the director the set falls to silence, and upon his command the cameras begin to roll and the whole groups moves as one to realize the shot. The film set is a temporary affair with most, if not all, of the members of the team changing from project to project. This means that the director, or producers for that matter, has to deal with new personalities and group dynamics depending on the nature, demands and composition of a new film project. Some directors and producers have come to prefer working with select individuals on a more regular basis – this controls the amount of ‘adjustments’ that they would have to go through in dealing with new personnel and will also limit the intangible variables that accompany management of individuals and team in an arts or creative organization. Leadership on a film set Soila-Wadman, in her discussion with directors Marianne Ahrne and Christina Olofson, reveal that the role of the director on the film set is a balance of ‘hard and soft’ tactics. Film crews look to the director as a ‘commander’ in the heat of battle. The director has to be firm and controlling of the often chaotic and fluid nature of film sets. The crew sees their director as needing to set the tone, pace and temperament of the production and they use that similar to a metronome against which they execute their tasks. Corollary to this, the director’s role as commander, has to be balanced by their need to allow the team, trained and adept in their specific roles, to find their own “pulse” within the temperament of the production. The director has to be able to motivate and nurture an environment where the team is able to use their skills towards achieving the director’s artistic vision. It is the director’s responsibility as leader, then, to create “the conditions for an artistic spirit to emerge” (p. 34). Leadership

“The manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon.” Warren G Bennis Leadership is fundamentally about personal behaviour and styles, (Figure A) it appeals to the emotions, seeking to align people behind a vision and inspire them to make the vision a reality.1 Soila-Wadman and Koping argue towards defining leadership in artistic endeavors as being an interactive and intuitive phenomenon that is almost physical in nature. They state that the leader’s ability to make decisions is based on “aesthetic, emotional and cognitive knowledge situated in the body” (Soila-Wadman & Köping, 2009). This is an experiential aspect that comes from the individuals relating not just to the leader but also amongst themselves.


R.Heller, Managers Handbook, 2002


Both projects of Garcia and Pover-Leong require interrelating; visionary, creative and transformational, (Figure C) styles of leadership, taking on the central role of creative leadership. The choice of management style with each sub-group may need different approaches too. Most team members will be consultants and involved in decision making, this is a democratic style that would bring the best ideas to the project. Throughout the process team members should exude competence, professionalism and the ability to express approval and appreciation – this type of team-driven environment requires strong leadership (Brunet 2004, p. 6)

inspiration • empowerment • personal strength and sensitivty • recognition and suppport • team building • articulate vision and values • innovative challenge • decisiveness •




LEADERSHIP < figure A: The two rules of management and leadership, may be viewed as exisiting on the same continuum. At one end management controls systems and processes on a rational baisis, while at the other end, leadership appeals to emotion through style and behaviour.

planning • analysis • training • monitering • evaluation • organization • control •

Managing People, Management and Leadership P. 171 Based on a diagram from the Ministry of Defence

platform of understanding


experimental learning

visionary leadership

creative leadership

creative leader climate

network activators

transformational leadership resiliance

idea ownership

figure B: cenral role of creative leadership

figure C: three overlapping leadership styles


Motivation Motivation, leadership and empowerment are interconnected, (Figure B), activities and a part of the management of leadership. When people feel connected to ‘Where there are good leaders, empowerment is evident in different ways. One is that; ‘people feel significant (Bennis, 1968) they also value learning and competence, as a good leader does, in personal development as well as work skills.’ Empowerment creates a sense of domain and worth, making the work more stimulating. Bennis says that; ‘pulling ‘rather than ‘pushing’ people towards a goal is important in organizational leadership. ‘It motivates through identification, rather than through rewards and punishment’2 Art is a means of self fulfillment, not the technical skills but the sensibility and intelligence, Lapierre (2001), art originates not from market demand but what moves and drives the artists and performers to creation. Both Garcia and Pover-Leong’s projects locate in a social context and environment, the main driver being an improvement for health and wellbeing of the community and it’s resources. ‘Man is an active creator of his own environment and development’ White (1959) postulated an innate need that he called ’effectance motivation’; this is a need to use one’s own capacities in an effective and competent way. Similarly, DeCharms (1968) reasons that; ’Man’s’ primary motivational propensity is to be effective in producing changes in his environment. Because of this need a human being shows curiosity, explores and tries to master for the sake of mastery only. Two commonly referred to motivational models in management are Maslow’s ‘Hierarchy of Needs’ and Herzbergs ‘Hygiene Factors and Motivators’, two diagrams p.168-169 R.Heller, Managers Handbook, 2002.


< Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs Lower levels have to be satisfied before the next level above, as an individual achieves one need, the one above becomes the new priority. Figure D

SELF ACTUALISATION development of own potential finding self-fulfillment SELF ESTEEM approval from others, recognition, achievement SOCIAL acceptance from others, afiliation, belonging SAFETY feeling of security, not fearing danger PHYSIOLOGICIAL basic requirements of life such as food and drink

These diagrams outline differing theories, some of which could be put to good effect on both the authors’ projects, considering Maslow’s model (Figure D) ‘Social’ affiliation and belonging, this is a vital motivation for the enterprise of the project and can be supported by a strong brand message and promotional activity. Self esteem, an important factor in a diverse team where consultants are operating within their own discipline and responsible in an independent way, feeling recognised by approval from other team members would acknowledge their achievements. Leadership can transform as a project expands and reduces, visionary leadership will focus the team and be inspirational.


E.Russell-Walling, 50 Management Ideas. P.75, W.G.Bennis P.4



• company policy the rules and regulations that govern how the organization goes about its business • supervision the way employees are managed when carrying out day-to-day tasks • interpersonal relationships relationships with colleagues in the workplace • working conditions working hours, workplace layout, facilities and technical equipment • salary and benefits fair compensation in the form of basic income, plus fringe benefits, bonuses, holidays and comany car


• achievement doing a good job meeting and exceeding goals • recognition managers and colleagues acknowledging an individuals achievements • work itself employees believing that the role they fulfill is important • responsibility giving employees ownership of their work by giving them fredom in how they carry out their tasks • advancement employees making progress not just through promotion but also through opportunities and develoment

Figure E Herzberg’s Two factor theory model (1959)

There will be stages in the project where a creative leadership style will give opportune for experimental learning and idea ownership to individuals in the team. Using Herzberg’s model(1959)(Figure E) Two factor theory ; ‘Interpersonal relationships; relationships with colleagues in the workplace’, much of the work will be processed online and remotely, or off-site. Therefore regular face-to-face project meetings held for ‘work in progress’ and ‘think-tank’ style creative work will reinforce the team with activity and motivate ownership of the work they carry out in their remote work places. Tensions Shared work often involves fluid transitions between relatively focussed collaboration, division of labour, general awareness and serendipitous communication. This leads to a tension in the working environment as focussed collaboration implies the need to coordinate people's views of work objects, while division of labour requires individual control over views.3 (Gaver, 1991) This is in part the working environment prior of the launch of the project where much of the workplace is in a digital and remote transaction and people are working closely towards a shared goal. ‘The shift from (computer) systems that support a single user working alone to those supporting a group of users working together is a profound one. It leads to a consideration of the ways people work together in the everyday world and possible ways to extend and support their interactions. 4 (Moran & Anderson, 1990). Although Moran and Anderson were writing about computer software, the same can be said about arts organizations where collaboration and delegated tasks are more prevalent. In Garcia and PoverLeongs’ projects the transition from working alone (concept) to working together (production) in a shared task needs planned support with a framework that builds a protocol5 (Buxton & Moran, 1990) of collaborative exchange, communication, delegation and interaction between the participants and stakeholders of the project 3William W.

Gaver, Rank Xerox EuroPARC,Gaver, W.W. (1991). Sound support for collaboration. Proceedings of the Second European Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Work. Moran, T. P., & Anderson, R. J. (1990). The workaday world as a paradigm for CSCW design. Proceedings of CSCW 90 (Los Angeles, U.S., October 1990). 4

5 Buxton, B., & Moran, T. (1990). EuroPARC’s Integrated Interactive Intermedia Facility (IIIF): Early experiences. Proceedings of the IFIP WG8.4 Conference on Multi-user Interfaces and Applications, Heraklion, Crete, September.


Delegation The underlying line connecting the projects of Garcia and Pover-Leong to the contexts of orchestral performance and film production are their organizational structure. Brunet (2004) characterizes the structure of production as being non-routine, unpredictable, and formed of temporary organizations. The creative setting and process, thus, features a division of labor, a need for coordination, a need for creativity, and the management of all these elements (p. 6). Itoh6 (1994) further discusses how it is important to establish subordinate roles and responsibilities early in the enterprise. This concept of clear delineation of roles and authorities is important to note in the Garcia and Pover-Leong projects as well as similar production organizations where it is typical for the collective to be composed of freelancers and consultants, and the environment is one where compromises, informality and negotiations (Brunet 2004 p. 6, Soila-Wadman & Köping, 2009 p. 34) characterize the working relationship.

Reward A reward system defines the relationship between the leader and the individual by “specifying the terms of exchange”. It specifies the contributions expected from the members of the organization and the response these individuals can expect to receive as a result of their performance (Kerr and Slocum7, 2005 p. 130). They identify two major reward systems common in corporate settings that may be paralleled to arts organizations and production project environments. In a hierarchy-based system superiors make assessments on subordinates, while in a performance-based system the evaluation is on the achievement of specific job-related tasks. In both cases promotion, bonuses and financial remuneration formed part of the reward system (Kerr and Slocum, 2005). Contextualized in arts organizations such as film productions, orchestral performances, community-wide creative endeavors (Pover-Leong), and advocacy artistic exhibitions (Garcia) if may seem that the rewards system framework of corporate culture would not immediately apply. In an arts organization financial rewards for achieving expected performance are not practiced the same way it would in a corporate setting where working engagements are expected to be on a permanent basis (as opposed to the temporary nature of arts organizations for production). A key aspect that can be seen in the rewards system of production and creative environments has much do with generating a reputation of trust, professionalism and dependability. This can be observed with leaders (conductors, producers, and directors) choosing to work repeatedly with individuals whose work ethic they know, are already familiar with and trust: “on the same Journey” as Olöfson puts it (SoilaWadman & Köping, 2009 p. 33). Professionals with experience and positive track records are able to charge higher rates and/or make more particular demands as to working conditions. It must be noted though that in the contexts of the projects and articles being viewed, team members are not traditionally provided with “bonus or promotion” rewards for performance during the production of the project. It is then vital that the singular visionary – the originator – be able to continually nurture a creative environment where motivation to perform is sustained.

6 Itoh,

Hideshi (1994). Job Design, Delegation and Cooperation: A Principal-Agent Analysis. European Economic Review Vol. 38.

7 Kerr,

Jeffrey and Slocum, John W. Jr. (2005). Academy of Management Executive 19:4.


The University of the Western Cape’s Rewards Philosophy document8 (2007) uses Richard Barrett’s framework of employee consciousness that takes off from Maslow’s framework (Figure F).



making a difference


internal cohesion

social responsibility service to humanity and the planet community involvement personal fulfillment making a difference sense of purpose finding a meaning in work










self-actualization a search for meaning, personal growth

improvement postion professional growth, promotion harmonious relationships camaradarie, team, respect personal security secure job, regular pay

< figure F Although designed for a more formal and long-term employment structure such as corporations and schools, this framework can be scaled to describe the participation and involvement of a member of a creative team.

In a production work environment this process can be protracted over the duration of the project. With Garcia and Pover-Leong’s project it is intended that team members realize the long-term social effects of these projects and therefore “invest” themselves in the objective. A Production Designer, for instance, may enter the project at the first level, and shortly after aligning and ‘believing’ in the director’s artistic vision quickly move up to the higher fifth , sixth or seventh levels. The “higher order” of reward a team member gains through his/her collaboration can be seen in the visualization of non-tangible rewards (Figure G). FULL SPECTRUM INTANGIBLE REWARDS service making a difference internal cohesion transformation

self-esteem relationships survival

• • •

• • • •



< figure G In artistic endeavors it may be further posited that the originators may find themselves in the higher sixth or seventh levels while close collaborators or those part of the ‘management’ or ‘supervisory’ roles may be in the fifth to seventh levels.


Rewards Foundation. University of the Western Cape Policy. October 2007. Retrieved from: module=cms&action=showfulltext&id=gen11Srv7Nme54_2181_1210050552&menustate=admin_support_hr.



CONCLUSION Our study references Leadership in the context of management specifically in arts organizations; looking into the management and leadership environment of a typical production-based arts organization and superimpose this over our individual projects. Our study reflects on several leadership styles that can be used with flexibility as the project progresses. In many cases arts organizations are composed of highly trained and educated individuals with their own egos and temperaments, yet despite their individual visions they are brought together to achieve another person’s singular artistic vision. Any number of outcomes during stages of progression can effect changes such as quantifying the tasks and matching these with skills and knowledge, any number of people in the team at any one time. Our research has revealed that a very distinct nature prevalent in arts organizations that is the personal involvement of individuals in the team. The purpose of the leader, then, is to use management tools such as engendering good group communication, democratic decision-making and creative thinking, as well as an openness to consider the group’s diversity as a wealth to be resourced. The task of referring, reflecting and revision of our individual projects has tapped into the surface of invaluable resources that can be effected to provide a structure that enables the realisation of arts and visual communication projects, as is the aim of our collaborative study. In this study we hope that more opportunities would be opened up for the observations of leader-team relations and dynamics in arts and production organizations.

“it’s a wrap!”


References 1

R.Heller, Managers Handbook, 2002


E.Russell-Walling, 50 Management Ideas. P.75 W.G.Bennis P.4

3William W.

Gaver, Rank Xerox EuroPARC, Gaver, W.W. (1991). Sound support for collaboration. Proceedings of

the Second European Conference on Computer-Supported Collaborative Work. 4

Moran, T. P., & Anderson, R. J. (1990). The workaday world as a paradigm for CSCW design.

Proceedings of CSCW 90 (Los Angeles, U.S., October 1990). 5

Buxton, B., & Moran, T. (1990). EuroPARCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Integrated Interactive Intermedia Facility (IIIF): Early experiences.

Proceedings of the IFIP WG8.4 Conference on Multi-user Interfaces and Applications, Heraklion, Crete, September. 6 Itoh,

Hideshi (1994). Job Design, Delegation and Cooperation: A Principal-Agent Analysis. European

Economic Review Vol. 38. 7 Itoh,

Hideshi (1994). Job Design, Delegation and Cooperation: A Principal-Agent Analysis. European

Economic Review Vol. 38. 8 Kerr,

Jeffrey and Slocum, John W.Jr. (2005). Academy of Management Executive 19:4.

Acknowledgements A. P. Brief 1 and Howard M.Weiss 2 , Organizational behavior, Affect in the Workplace 1A. B. Freeman School of Business and Department of Psychology, Toulon University, Department of Psychological Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, 2002 B.Carnie, Managing Creativity, Lecture 3, COFA, UNSW, 2010 Brunet, J. (2004). The Social Production of Creative Products in the Television and Film Industry. International Journal of Arts Management, Winter, 6(2), 6 .P.Daigle; L.Rouleau, Strategic Plans in Arts Organizations: A Tool of compromise between Artistic and Managerial Values, International Journal of Arts Magazine, Spring 2010 G.E.Evans , P. Layzell, W.Neal-Schuman , Management Basics for Information Professionals 2nd edition R.Heller, Managers Handbook, UK , Dorllng Kindersley, 2002 Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra Z.MacDonell, Managing Creativity, COFA, UNSW, 2010 T.Rickards, S.Moger, Handbook for creative team leaders, Gower Publishing, UK 1999 J. Ridderstrale, K. Nordstrom, Karaoke Capitalism Management for Mankind, Prentice Hall, UK, 2004 E.Robertson, Art and Design Management in Cross-Disciplinary Contexts, Cofa, UNSW 2009 S.P.Robins, N.Barnwell, Organization Theory, 5th Edition, Pearson Education, Australia, 2006 E.Russell-Walling, 50 Management Ideas, you need to know. Quercus, UK, 2007 T.Scott & P. Harker,The Myth of Nine to Five, Richmond, Australia, 2002 D.Travis The Fable of User Centred Design, User Focus, UK, 2009. Richard Price, Getty Images, Page 2

Retrieved Google Images: GSO Sweden

13 Retrieved Google Images: National Geographic

"Persona of the Lone Hero"  

College of Fine Arts, University of New South Wales Collaborative Essay "Persona of the Lone Hero" Not for sale, Colour, Portrait.

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