Creativity and Innovation in ...
Good design and artistic inspiration drive businesses and organizations of all sorts - even a 144-year-old manufacturing enterprise. Kohler Company's senior vice president gave an inspiring speech this spring on Capitol Hill. When she spoke, Laura Kohler affirmed the critical role of art and creativity in fostering an innovative workforce. At Kohler Company, the results are beautiful and functional products coupled with solutions to far-reaching problems.
Kohler, who has "an M.F.A., not an M.B.A." described the ways art has been at the center of success for this designer and producer of toilets, bathtubs, faucets, and sinks. "Art and creativity are one and the same and indispensable to who we are as people, our quality of life, and success in business. Our belief and investment in artistry is one that has guided our company for generations."
She mentioned the artist-in-residence program the company started in 1974: "There is no other artist residency program where artists' studios are located right on the production floor of a manufacturing facility, such as our cast iron foundry or pottery. Artists are introduced to bulk materials, such as slip-cast clay and cast metal, and techniques that give them a new way of thinking and working creatively ... Artists in residence value the expertise and experience of these associates, and the associates in turn are engaged in helping the artists solve creative problems."