Culture for Radical Innovation: What can business learn from creative processes of contemporary dancers?

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Organizational Aesthetics, ISSN: 2168-8575, Vol: 2, Issue: 1, Page: 59-83

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Bozic, Nina; Olsson, Bengt Köping
Arts and Humanities; Business
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article description
Organizational culture is considered by several scholars to have a significant impact on the organization's capacity for innovation. However, there is little known about the specific aspects of organizational culture that facilitates radical innovation. This article investigates in what ways contemporary dancers´ creative practice may contribute to our understanding as well as to the development of radical innovation in business. By interviewing twenty contemporary dancers and choreographers from different countries, we found five key elements that support their creative processes from idea to performance. These elements or categories are improvisation, reflection, personal involvement, diversity, and emergent supportive structures.An interesting finding is the dancers´ approach to work and their mindset, characterized by iteration between improvisation and reflection, rather than working with pre-planned goals and structures. We argue that this approach imprints their working environment and the culture for radical innovation emerges through their way of thinking, acting and relating. This study presents a systematic framework that will provide the basis for long-term strategic artistic interventions in business in order to enable cultural transformation towards radical innovation.