Weekend Reading: April 2018

Weekend Reading: April 2018

Image: Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, A Roman Art Lover, 1870, [Public Domain] via WikiArt.org

Happy Friday! We’ve compiled our favorite articles and essays from the last month for you to browse and enjoy this weekend.

“I don’t often start essays about leadership with insights from French novelists,” writes Fast Company cofounder and author Bill Taylor in a recent piece for Harvard Business Review, “but in this case it seems appropriate. ‘The real act of discovery,’ Marcel Proust wrote, ‘consists not in finding new lands but in seeing with new eyes.’”

Too often, Taylor argues, experienced leaders allow prior knowledge and expertise to dictate their ideas and limit innovation. But art can be an important tool to kickstart a more creative form of leadership. Taylor describes a program where police officers look at paintings, sculptures and more, answering the question, “What do you see?”:

“Needless to say, what participants saw was a function of the jobs they did and the experiences they’d had – which explains why different people reached such different conclusions about the same pieces. Here’s how one article summarized what participants took away: ‘Make careful observation a habit. Learn to describe what you see. Allow a different interpretation of the observation. Understand that one scene can have several plausible explanations. Avoid tunnel vision. Exercise creative thinking skills.’ Those are great lessons for doctors and detectives – not to mention executives, entrepreneurs, and leaders in any field.”

For another approach to “seeing with new eyes,” our own Karen Nestor reflects on the meaning and power of “recognition” on our blog this week.

Elsewhere on the Internet:

Timothy Magaw and Jeremy Nobile argue in Crain’s Cleveland Business that effective diversity and inclusion programs require ample time and effort – and that “diversity is a marathon, not a sprint.”

“To Smith, poetry is a shortcut to honest conversation,” writes Ruth Franklin in a New York Times profile of U.S. Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith, “a way of getting past small talk to probe the spots where our culture is most sore.”

Should we be exposing aspiring doctors to more courses in the humanities? Slate makes the case for doctors to be “unafraid to wrestle with ambiguity and nuance.”

In a recent episode of the Financial Times Business Book podcast, Professor Andrea Komlosy discusses her new book Work, which explores how the last 1,000 years of work has shaped humanity.

The Teagle Foundation shines a spotlight on our Books@Work programs with the Veterans Domiciliary in Cleveland. “It’s been a very healthy experience,” one participant shared.

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Maredith Sheridan

Maredith Sheridan

Maredith Sheridan is a Development Communications Associate at the Cleveland Orchestra and a part-time member of the Books@Work team. She continues to write posts for our blog.