What Poetry Brings to Business

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Overview

"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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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Morgan, Oxford University director of creative writing, tackles the false opposition between art and commerce in this thorough and thoughtful attempt at making poetry accessible—even necessary—to businesspeople. Through a liberal application of her favorite poems, Morgan argues that the act of reading poetry changes the way the reader thinks, that bare facts are not enough to elicit good business decisions, and that the act of poetic deconstruction helps develop skills that are applicable to business. She speaks passionately about strategies of creativity and how poems “bridge the gap between knowing and perceiving because they use the highly differentiated, logic-driven structures of language to point to the undifferentiated area where emotions hold sway.” Though she makes some excellent points, her affected naïveté regarding the hard-to-classify nature of her argument and pointed avoidance of practical applications of her ideas make this a hard sell outside the campus bookstore. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780472050864
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/2010
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Part 1 What Is Not Yet Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Prologue: What Socrates Didn't Like about Poets Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 7

1 Poetry in Practice Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 10

High-Tech in Downing College Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

The "So What?" Factor Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry, Power, and (Business) Possibility Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Rhyme and Reason: Why Facts Aren't Enough Anymore Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

2 Feeling for the Light Switch Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 19

Thinking Beyond the Facts: Where Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry Takes You Poetry versus Business Think Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

3 My New Colleagues in The Strategy Institute Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 27

Big Themes in Common Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Movers and Shakers: Poetry, Advertising, and The Boston Consulting Group Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: How Poetry Sells Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Where Business Meets Poetry Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Bill Gates and the Business-Poetry Connection Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

4 Sharpeners versus Levelers Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 36

Can Reading Poems Make You Think Differently? Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

More Questions, Different Hypotheses Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

What the Sharpener Sees That the Leveler Doesn't Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: What the Lawyer and Engineer Saw Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Strategy, Theory, and Factual Information Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Dana Gioia and the Jell-0 Success Story Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

5 The Case of the Strange-Looking Bird That Landed on My Windowsill Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 47

Rational Thinking and Wrong Decisions Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Hawk versus Vulture: How Poems Make You Think Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Negative Capability: How the Good Leader Makes Decisions Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Where Poems Take You: Out of Sight, Not Out of Mind Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

6 Traveling through the Dark Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 55

Where Decisions Happen Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Thinking through Your Ears Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Cambridge Again: The Power of Poetic Competence Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Postscript How Did It Go? Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

7 Traveling Further: The Lawyer and the Engineer Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 64

Retaking The Road Not Taken Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: Thinking beyond the Lawyer and the Engineer Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

8 Taking It Further: Trying It Out Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 71

Part 2 Poetry and Creativity Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

1 Reading between the Lines Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 85

Wittgenstein versus the Business Reader Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Tangling with Wittgenstein Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Playing the Game: Talking the Talk Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study on bow Discourse Works: Da Vinci and Daughter Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Digging Deep: Thinking about Talking Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Surfing the Wordscape Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

A Cautionary Tale Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

An Excuse and a Confession Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry Challenges Assumptions Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: Poetry and the Unexpected Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Getting Rid of the Regional President's Interpreters Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

2 Breaking the Word Barrier Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 96

The Creativity Economy Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

The Fox and the Lair Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Where Is Creativity? Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

3 A Revolution in Seeing Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 105

Creative Transformation Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Breaking the Rules: Poetry and Meaning Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: A Revolution in Seeing: Colorless Green Ideas Sleep Furiously Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Creativity and the Business Environment Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: "Stop All the Clocks" versus the Executive Summary Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

4 Poetry versus the Thought Police Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 115

The Grammar of Possibility Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Words and Power Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Clothing the Emperor Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

5 Hot Cognition Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 122

Stripping Off the Rubber Coat Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetical Emotion Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: Knowing and Feeling Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Knowledge, Power, and Perception: Two Responses in Health Care Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

A Christmas Scenario Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

6 Thinking Strategies: Poetry in Public Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 129

The ARM-BCG Strategy Institute Forum Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Relative Perception Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: How Poetry Could Have Helped in Accor Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

A Very Particular Kind of Traveler Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Criteria for Success: Satisfying the Executive Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

7 A Poem Too Far Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 141

Where Order Meets Chaos: Two Kinds of Creativity Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: Remodeling Meaning Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

An Alternative Reading: "Jabberwocky" as a Market Share Metaphor Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

8 Taking It Further: Trying It Out Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 148

Part 3 Thinking Values Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

1 The Trust Gap Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 161

The "New Black": Corporate Social Responsibility Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry in the Global Framework Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

A Word of Caution from My Reader Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Changing Minds Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Shopping Blown Open Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Connie Bensley's Shopper: A Discussion Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

2 Reconnecting Poetry Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 172

Destabilizing Meaning: Poetry and Knowledge Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Refraining Values Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

How Poems Change Minds Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

The Cusp of Mind Change: Poetry in Motion Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

3 Intelligent Movement Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 183

West Point Leadership Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

The Kind of News Poetry Brings Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry News versus Business News? Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

4 The Music of What Happens Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 191

On the Way to Tokyo Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Three Straws in the Wind and a Conversation Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

"So What" for Business? Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Verse by Voice Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

5 The Hall of Mirrors Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 200

Connection through Metaphor Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Mapping the Edge Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Where Terror Meets Beauty Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Telling Rhythm Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

6 Cross-Wiring: The Paths Poetry Opens Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 209

Poetry and Neuroscience Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: Cross-Modal Poetry Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry and the Japanese Garden Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

7 A Great View of Downtown Tokyo Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 215

Post Poetry Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Case Study: Introducing Poetry to BCG Tokyo Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry and Culture: Doing It Differently in Civil Society Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

Poetry and Strategy: How They Saw It in Tokyo Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

A Good-bye to my Reader on a Street in a City Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko

8 Taking It Further: Trying It Out Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 226

Acknowledgments Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 245

Notes Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 251

Selected References Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 255

Index Bolko von Oetinger von Oetinger, Bolko 261

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