经济学人双语版-寓教于演 Conduct yourself

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FlyTitle: Bartleby

What businesses can learn from the arts

企业能从人文艺术中学到什么

经济学人双语版-寓教于演 Conduct yourself

PICTURE A LECTURE session at a business school and you probably envisage students gazing at screens filled with equations and acronyms. What you might not expect is choristers attempting to sing “O clap your Hands”, an eight-part anthem composed by Orlando Gibbons and first performed in 1622. But Bartleby was treated to this delight, and others facing MBA students, on a visit to Saïd Business School in Oxford last year.

想象一下商学院上课的情景,你脑中可能会浮现学生们盯着满屏方程式和缩写词的画面。您可能想象不到会有唱诗班试着唱起《拍起手来》(O clap your Hands),这是奥兰多·吉本斯(Orlando Gibbons)创作的八节赞美诗,于1622年首演。但本专栏作者去年就在牛津大学赛德商学院有幸见识了这样的欢乐场面,以及其他面向MBA学生的趣味课程。

There was a catch. Some of the students had to try conducting the choir. The first to take the challenge was a rather self-confident young man from America. It didn’t take long for him to go wrong. His most obvious mistake was to start conducting without asking the singers how they would like to be directed, though they had the expertise and he was a complete tyro.

不过有一个麻烦。一些学生得尝试做指挥。第一个接受挑战的是一个相当自信的美国年轻人,但他很快就遇到了问题。他最明显的错误是没有先询问唱诗班成员期待怎样的指挥方式就开始指挥了,尽管这些成员都有专业经验,而他自己完全是门外汉。

The experience was doubtless chastening, but also instructive. The session, organised by Pegram Harrison, a senior fellow in entrepreneurship, cleverly allowed the students to absorb some important leadership lessons. For example, leaders should listen to their teams, especially when their colleagues have specialist knowledge. All they may need to do, as conductors, is set the pace and then step back and let the group govern itself.

这次经历想必让学生们尝了点苦头,但也很有启发性。组织这节课的是创业课高级研究员佩格拉姆·哈里森(Pegram Harrison),他通过这种形式巧妙地让学生领会了一些领导力方面的重要经验。例如,领导者应该听取团队的意见,特别是在团队成员具备专业知识的情况下。和指挥一样,他们可能需要做的就是设定节奏,然后退后一步,让团队自行管理。

It was noticeable, too, that the choir managed fairly well even if the conductors were just waving their batons in an indeterminate fashion. The lesson there, Mr Harrison said, was that leaders can only do so much damage—provided they do not attempt to control every step of the process. The whole exercise illustrated it is possible for a lesson to be instructive and entertaining at once.

同样值得注意的是,即使指挥只是意图不明地挥舞着指挥棒,唱诗班也仍然表现良好。哈里森说,从中可以学到的是领导者的破坏力是有限的——只要他们不试图控制过程的每一步。这个课堂活动表明,一堂课是可以做到寓教于乐的。

Other business schools have also realised that their students can learn from the arts. At Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Leanne Meyer has introduced a leadership-training programme that includes poetry, art installations and a book club. Involvement in such pursuits can help develop empathy in future leaders, she argues; for example, reading a novel helps students get into the mind of a character. She also believes that the programme benefits students in terms of how they promote themselves to recruiters.

其他商学院也意识到学生们可以从人文艺术中学到东西。在匹兹堡的卡内基·梅隆大学,琳恩·梅耶(Leanne Meyer)推出了一个领导力培训课,内容包括诗歌、艺术装置和读书俱乐部。她认为参与这样的活动可以帮助未来的领导者培养同理心。例如,阅读小说可以帮助学生进入角色心理。她还认为,该课程还能帮助学员学着向招聘人员推销自己。

It is hardly surprising that art-based programmes are popular. They provide a welcome diversion from the stodgy content that marks out most MBA courses. But are they really helpful? Intriguingly, there are signs that successful businesses are incorporating the arts into their training. AQR, a fund-management group best known for its number-crunching skills, has started a professional- and personal-growth programme called the Quanta academy; one component is a book club where members have read “Destined for War”, a book about American-Chinese relations by Graham Allison.

基于人文艺术的课程广受欢迎并不出奇。这些课不像大多数MBA课程那么枯燥乏味,这令人欣喜。但这样的课程真的有用吗?有意思的是,有迹象表明成功的企业正将文艺课程融入员工培训当中。以数据处理能力闻名的基金管理集团AQR启动了Quanta学院,提供专业技能和个人成长方面的课程。课程内容之一是读书俱乐部,成员们阅读了格雷厄姆·艾里森(Graham Allison)撰写的关于中美关系的书《注定一战》(Destined for War)。

Rather than turn the pages, some business people tread the boards. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) has trained many great thespians, such as Sir Anthony Hopkins, Alan Rickman and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. It also offers training courses for executives, ranging from half a day to six days.

有些商界学员没有参加读书俱乐部,而是选择了登台演出。英国皇家戏剧学院(RADA)培养了安东尼·霍普金斯爵士(Sir Anthony Hopkins)、艾伦·里克曼(Alan Rickman)和菲比·沃勒·布里奇(Phoebe Waller-Bridge)等许多出色的演员。它也为高管提供培训课程,时长从半天到六天不等。

“Acting is about finding the truth in the character and in yourself,” says Charlie Walker-Wise, one of RADA’s tutors. “We help people to become more aware of their habits; what they do without realising it. How people manage their physicality—their breath, their voice. Not many people are aware of how they come across.”

“表演就是在角色和自己身上找寻真相,” 皇家戏剧学院的导师查理·沃克-怀斯(Charlie Walker-Wise)说,“我们帮助人们更清楚地了解自己的习惯动作,那些下意识的行为。教他们控制呼吸、声音等身体反应。没有多少人清楚自己在别人眼中是什么样子。”

It might seem odd to link running a business with a profession that ranges from Laurence Olivier proclaiming Hamlet’s soliloquy to Robert de Niro training as a boxer to play the lead in “Raging Bull”. But Mr Walker-Wise says that middle managers are often delivering speeches that are not their own (because they were devised by head office) or trying to inspire staff to meet an objective that was set by someone else. “The lesson from acting is how do I connect to this message without betraying my own personality,” he argues.

练习表演的形式多样——从劳伦斯·奥利维尔(Laurence Olivier)背诵哈姆雷特的独白,到罗伯特·德尼罗(Robert de Niro)为主演电影《愤怒的公牛》中的拳击手而专门接受拳击训练。将这种专业训练与经营企业联系起来似乎很奇怪。但沃克-怀斯说,中层管理人员经常要发表并非出于自己本心的讲话(因为内容由总部定调),或者要试着激励员工实现由别人设定的目标。“通过练习表演,他们可以学会让自己显得言辞恳切,不暴露真实的自我。”他说。

Being a manager involves a lot more than just setting targets and entering numbers into a spreadsheet. It requires empathy and an understanding of human nature. It makes sense that an education in the arts might help develop those qualities. Above all, the students on Mr Harrison’s course at the Saïd school were experiencing something Bartleby never expected to see in those attending an MBA lecture: they were having fun.

管理者要做的事远不只是设定目标和在电子表格中输入数字。管理者要有同理心,要了解人性。人文艺术教育确实可能有助于培养这些素质。最重要的是,在哈里森的课上,赛德商学院的学生们体验到了本专栏作者从没想过能在MBA课堂上出现的东西:开心。

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