The Business of Aesthetics: What It Is, Why It Matters, and Why It Matters Now More than Ever

Pauline Brown, a leading executive for global luxury firms, discusses how aesthetic intelligence is critical to business success with Professor Bernd Schmitt.

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In her career as an executive at global luxury firms like LVMH and Estée Lauder, Pauline Brown (Author, Aesthetic Intelligence; Executive-in-Residence, Columbia Business School) came to realize that “Aesthetic Intelligence” is as critical to long-term business success as are more traditional competencies in areas like finance, operations and technology. Moreover, in times of crisis, the humanistic, artistic and emotionally-resonant components of business take on heightened importance. 

A business leader's attention to aesthetics not only can improve how organizations navigate such moments of crisis, but also how they can turn a crisis into an opportunity. In conversation with Professor Bernd Schmitt (Robert D. Calkins Professor International Business; Faculty Director, Center on Global Brand Leadership), Brown and Schmitt discuss what aesthetics is, how it applies to decision making, how it can transform businesses and leadership, and how it can be applied to a post-pandemic and socially conscious marketplace.

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