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Poetry in the boardroom: thinking beyond the facts: A roundtable discussion among Ted Buswick, Clare Morgan and Kirsten Lange

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PurposeTo convey the findings of an investigation into the relationship between poetry and business thinking, which began with the hypothesis that regular reading and analysis of poetry and its levels of meaning, subtle verbal and nonverbal contextual nuances, emotional content, and required associative thinking will help people deal with ambiguity, delay closure on decisions, and result in more systemic thinking and in better business decisions. FindingsThe research and workshops indicate that reading poetry can expand thinking space by enhancing associative thinking and access to preconceptual areas. Research limitation/implicationsThe findings are based on extensive interdisciplinary research and a small number of seminars and workshops. No formal studies have yet been conducted. Practical implicationsThis provides a way to open thinking spaces that may be often unused by the business strategist, and that can lead to better decisions. By focusing on how executives can refine their thinking abilities to take them beyond the ordinary limits of cause-and-effect approaches, encourages the application of those radical judgments that can help differentiate one organization from another. Originality/valueThe authors believe they are the first to explore this relationship between reading poetry and business thinking.
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Keywords: Corporate strategy; Creative thinking; Decision making; Innovation; Management strategy; Poetry

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2005

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