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Arts-based interventions may expand how team members and leaders understand their roles and impact. For an intervention to be useful, there needs to be a way for the aesthetic experience to translate back into the regular organisation. Nine managers of a professional services firm, including the chief executive, engaged in weekly group singing sessions for more than a year. The paper discusses their learnings in light of the two communities of practice they took part in—the choir practice and the managerial practice. In terms of learning content, the notion of “alpha-male” serves a label for the range of identities and behaviours that were rattled. The aesthetic experience of multi-part choral singing enabled the participants to hear the futility of being constantly pushy. Eventually a more varied team dynamics emerged. The paper focuses on one particular aspect of the set-up—the location of the practices and the transfer space between them. The stair-case connecting the two practices became an in-between space—a conduit—where the aesthetic experience lingered, was interpreted, and applied, in silence or through dialogue.

Figure1.pdf (21 kB)
Taxonomy of aesthetics-based leadership development

Figure2.pdf (34 kB)
Affordances of art-based leadership development

Figure3.pdf (26 kB)
The staircase between two spaces

Table1.pdf (24 kB)
Participant profiles



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