philippe rixhon associates  
  Theatre business,
management of men
Theatre business,
management of men.
– William Butler Yeats

Collaboration among performing arts companies is an important catalyst for innovation, sustainability and growth.

Creation and innovation occurs outside the realms of time and money. Management deals with resources, primarily with time and money. Innovation and management are not in the same space. Collaboration leads idea to innovation. All collaborations are different. All collaborations are innovations. Some of us get better and better at it. Are there specific fertilizers for the soil wherefrom fruitful collaboration will emerge? Are there specific ways to apply them?

Philippe Rixhon started reflecting on these questions in 1994, while commissioned by ABB to produce a seminar about customer-focused innovation for their senior management. Then, he conducted a related research with the support of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Zurich), studied the Swiss textile industry in the 19th century, and analysed the worldwide textile machinery manufacturers during the period 1994-2004. Philippe found a strong correlation between the effectiveness/efficiency of the innovation process and the quality of the dialogue between innovators and users.


Age of Artists

Creative thinking and action provides answers to complex problems. The skills, competencies, methods of problem framing and emotional perceptions that artists use help to understand, clarify, shape and change the far-reaching problems of our time — for people, organisations and global society.


We learn from creative disciplines and apply our findings to create better outcomes for business and society.


We promote dialogue and knowledge exchange with leading thinkers, practitioners, and in particular, with artists of all genres, to understand their creative process and to draw best practices for the business economy and society. We distill the essence of our findings into digital stories, and explain in more detail why and how to use insights from creative disciplines.


We describe what attitudes and competencies are relevant for people to succeed in the information age.


We develop a management approach that integrates artistic ideas and processes that enhance established commercial virtues, and we create a concept for an “artful organisation” that succeeds, regardless of the degree of uncertainty and change.

Age of Artists contributes to solving wicked (“unsolvable”) problems by providing methods, tools and approaches that can be used when addressing complex situations in society and business.


Our research leads to counsel, lectures and publications.

Creative leadership in the cultural enterprise
On 22 February 2011 and again on 27 March 2012, Philippe Rixhon delivered a lecture to the students of Arts Management at the University of Utrecht. He demonstrated the necessary, serial and parallel co-existence of three organisational forms within a cultural enterprise: business administration, knowledge management and creative leadership. The demonstration was supported by examples from two current projects of Philippe Rixhon Associates.

Life and innovation – a practitioner’s narrative
On 16 September 2010, Philippe Rixhon delivered the key note speech at the international conference Narrative and Innovation organised by the Karlshochschule International University. The lecture – based on true stories – presented a practitioner's perspective on the levers that open new paths to opportunity recognition, entrepreneurial innovation and business development in uncertain and contingent markets. Harvard Business Manager, the German edition of Harvard Business Review, have published the speech in their issue 1/2011.

Innovation leadership – best practices from theatre creators
Creation and innovation unfold differently in specific cultures; and it is the cradle of leadership which shapes every individual culture. Following more than twenty-five years of innovation practice in the manufacturing, service and theatre sectors, Philippe Rixhon derives five leadership characteristics from theatrical creation and recommends their broader application. This article outlines how theatre leaders innovate, what kind of techniques they use and which other business sectors they can be adopted for. It is published by Symposion in the third band of their series about The New Art of Leadership.


Research associates

  • Lutz Becker, Fresenius University of Applied Sciences
  • Farooq Chaudhry, Khan Chaudhry Productions
  • Dirk Dobiey, Age of Artists
  • Akram Khan, Khan Chaudhry Productions
  • Wim Soens, CogniStreamer
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