Ringling College Unveils Program to Help Professionals Foster Creativity

According to Gina Powell-Ribeiro, traditional business isn’t working anymore. “Most businesses today need new thinking models,” she said. “In a lot of ways we’re taught to stifle our creativity. There needs to be new ways of thinking, because if you continue to stay inside the box then things are never going to change.”

For years Gina has worked in organizational development to help companies reach their full potential and even started her own consulting firm that would put on workshops for businesses encouraging creativity in the workplace. She invited a representative from Ringling College of Art and Design to speak at an event who later asked if Gina would be interested in working with the college’s Center for Applied Creativity and Design.

Now as the Manager of Creative Projects Gina oversees business development projects for the strategic initiatives of the center. A new program, currently in beta testing, organizes retreats for business professionals that help them to be more creative in their work.

“We did a lot of research on this,” Gina said. “People are pushing others to be creative and innovative but no one is telling them how. So we’re exposing them to right brain thinking.”

Each retreat is fully customized to a business’ needs and always includes input from an artist.

“It’s very focused on the practical needs of the group,” Gina said.  “So whatever your issues are we’re going to design a curriculum around it and whatever we do we’re going to do with artists. We’re also going to take a business that’s been struggling with the same issue and show how they’ve dealt with it successfully.”

To help with the launch of the new program Gina has turned to UEP on the Suncoast. “We thought what an opportunity to take all the work that we’ve done and then have Kauffman scrutinize it and make it better,” she said. “Ringling has a great reputation for doing things well so this was about leveraging  Kauffman’s expertise to help us do it better.”

So far in the sessions Gina and the coaches have been discussing how to set up the day to day operations of the program and also how to attract investors and potential clients.

“I love the convenience of the teleconferencing- it’s a cost saver and convenient,” Gina said. “The use of technology and having the coaches available as needed is helpful.”

The initiative will give professionals a new lens through which to view their company. “We can offer business leaders and executives ways on how they can be creative and artistic in approaching their business,” Gina said. “I’ve always believed that it takes both in order to really come up with the right solutions for business problems.”

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