Scríobhann Helen Carroll, Ceannasaí Cumarsáide agus Pairtnéireachtaí ag Business to Arts faoin tsraith nua atá ar siúl Déardaoin ag 9.30, Creative Company ar TG4 a chuireann dhá chomhlacht in iomaíocht lena chéile chun cruthaitheacht a cheiliúradh.

Creative Company is a six-part series on TG4 in conjunction with EZ Films and Business to Arts that sees ten diverse companies across Ireland work with an artist to compete to become Ireland's most Creative Company. Employees from junior executive to Chief Executive have taken on the challenge of creating a piece of large-scale public art, from concept to completion. My role as a judge on the programme compliments my role as Head of Communications and Partnerships at Business to Arts. Our charitable organisation is focused on developing partnerships between business and the arts through sponsorships, commissioning (e.g. an artist engaged to create a new piece of work), staff participation, curated corporate events and CSR programmes

Business and the arts - you may ask what these two diverse worlds have in common? Creativity is the latest core skill to emerge in the recruitment market. But what does this skill requirement actually mean? We usually associate creativity with artists, those in society gifted with an artistic talent, capable of expressing themselves through movement, sound, expressions or actions. We look to artists to challenge us, to present us with work that questions and reflects society in an assorted and sometimes controversial way.

Many employers have little, to no knowledge of what hidden talents or passions their employees possess. Amongst them may be a talented photographer with an eye for design, a writer with a flair for captivating content or composer who identifies themes and variations. With a greater emphasis on work life balance and job satisfaction, it is more important than ever to harness and encourage these interests, determining how relevant skills can apply to the 'day job’.

Teamwork, leadership and negotiation are some of the skills shared across both sectors. As a conductor takes to the stage to direct her orchestra, so does a manager leading his team. How do you successfully solve complex problems? By generating creative ideas from a diverse group of independent thinkers. In my world, creativity is about encouraging different ways of thinking, coming up with alternative, often ‘outside the box’ solutions. If you dance in a corp de ballet you must work as a team, one person trying to shine, destroys the blueprint envisaged by the choreographer, causing tension and imbalance. The same can be said for a work team in a competitive and high-pressure environment.  

Our first national Cultural Policy framework launched recently sees the objective to encourage mutually beneficial relationships between business and the arts. Businesses can get involved with culture and creativity in many ways. Business to Arts’ national AR (Artist Residence) programme in partnership with Creative Ireland helps enable a business to engage an artist through a series of planned creative workshops engaging staff and local communities. We are working with photographers, writers, musicians and theatre practitioners who devise a programme of activity focused on developing skills and understanding of their arts practice.

My advice to anyone interested in bringing creativity to their workplace – find out what your work colleagues are interested in – What are their favourite films, books or bands? Do they draw with their children or take photographs? There is a creative enthusiast in us all. Then, connect with an artist and arrange a series of workshops. Who knows what ideas, new ways of working and relationships could be generated!

Creative Company is a partnership between TG4, EZ Films and Business to Arts. Beidh an chéad chlár eile ar siúl Déardaoin, ag 9.30.