Online Extra: Building Better Businesses
COCABiz Draws from the Arts to Improve Area Businesses
Many people think of the arts and business worlds as two distinct entities: right brain versus left brain, creative thinking versus critical thinking. But Kelly Pollock, executive director of COCABiz, sees more of a Venn diagram instead: Through the bespoke workshops the organization provides to area businesses, arts teaching is carried over into the capitalist sphere for a refreshing new perspective on business and even for self-improvement (how about an actor teaching public-speaking workshops?). Here, in Kelly's words, are a few companies COCABiz has helped along the way.
"Over the last four years, COCAbiz has provided many workshops on creativity, collaboration and teamwork at Nestlé Purina for various brand teams. This year’s engagement included an intensive workshop called 'Directing the Action,' which focused on providing feedback within creative project teams. Led by actors and directors, brand team members explored techniques used in the theater to provide productive feedback to create great performances."
McCormack Baron Salazar
"In the course of developing innovative urban housing projects, McCormack Baron Salazar leaders are challenged to engage community stakeholders and persuasively communicate their vision of housing possibilities. Using a poet, a visual artist and an actor, COCAbiz provided an intensive workshop to help McCormack Baron Salazar leaders covert masses of technical detail into strong stories that make their message clear."
"Monsanto has a strong commitment to developing a new generation of leaders who cultivate an organization that builds the collaboration needed for high-speed change in a global market. As part of that effort, COCAbiz provided a two-and-a-half-day leadership intensive course, using hands-on activities led by artists from the disciplines of improv, design, poetry and acting to take leaders out of their comfort zone of analytical science and discover the skills needed to lead for change and innovation."