The Art of Business

While anger rises, frustration mounts, antagonism increases, and negativity and naysaying dominate the national news. . .

Maybe art is the answer?


What would happen if everyone approached their lives as artists? Put together their communication as if they were poets? Designed their spaces—small and large—as if they were architects? Listened to others like a musician? What if business leaders looked at their organizations as if they were making art for the ages instead of being just vehicles for making money? What if everyone—not just those who society calls “creatives”—is capable of turning what they do every day into amazing art?

This is what Ari Weinzweig, co-founding partner and CEO of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses in Ann Arbor, Michigan, explores in his newly-released pamphlet, “The Art of Business: Why I Want to Be an Artist.” The booklet begins with an epilogue of the same name from his most recent book The Power of Beliefs in Business (Part 4 in the Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading series), and is followed by a longer, previously unpublished interview that dives deeper into Ari’s thinking about the overlay of art and business.

The approach Ari examines in the pamphlet could well be the future of the business world. As Daniel Pink writes in A Whole New Mind, “The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a different kind of mind—creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers, and meaning makers. These people—artists, inventors, designers, storytellers, caregivers, consolers, big picture thinkers—will now reap society’s richest rewards and share its greatest joys.” As Ari argues, those who are most able to come at their work and their lives from the standpoint of an artist—or poet, musician, sculptor, etc.—are those that will lead the most interesting and rewarding lives and do the innovative work that will set the pace in every industry.

As with all the books that Ari has published through Zingerman’s Press, the new pamphlet is designed in-house and printed in Ann Arbor. In the spirit of the beliefs Ari shares in the booklet, the pamphlet has been produced with a couple of special touches—a letterpress cover done by Minneapolis printer, Michael Coughlin of Letterpress Book Publishing in Minnesota, and an original scratchboard drawing done by Zingerman’s in-house illustrator Ian Nagy of the artwork of New York-based artist Patrick-Earl Barnes that’s hand-laid in on the title page.

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