Erik Wahl is an international graffiti artist , author of best sellers and successful entrepreneur. Erik redefines the term keynote speaker and is, today, one of the most requested speakers . His seamless painting becomes a visual metaphor of the heart of the message, encouraging organizations to generate profits through innovations and a higher level of performance.
The list of its clients includes AT & T, Disney, London School of Business, Microsoft, FedEx, Exxon, Mobil, Ernst & Young and XPrize. It was also a TED presenter .
The responses received by the public were incredible, with a standing ovation to prove it. His book on the best-selling business , UNTHINK has been praised by Forbes Magazine as the proactive creativity plan and by Fast Company Magazine as provocative but with a specific purpose .
Erik takes us to his studio and unveils the anecdotes and technical details behind some of his favorite paintings. His understanding of the mechanisms of vision was born at the school of disappointment . After an eight-year career as a partner in a company, he was frustrated by the lack of innovative thinking and the corresponding profit he saw in business. So he decided to challenge companies to change their way of thinking, while at the same time following his individual passions. He rediscovered his love for art and now plays in the business world and works through his art.
On November 9, Erik painted live on stage at the World Business Forum in Milan , inviting us not to be afraid.
” The Beta state is the spirit of innovation, the ability to embrace change.
Get out of business as usual, from your comfort zone. Think of everything we could do in our business if we were not afraid. Fear affects our performance , it is the risk of being too structured.
What’s FEAR? False Evidence Appearing Real.
As a child I loved drawing, but I stopped because I had been told that I was not good enough and attentive to details. As an adult I started to paint and I started to see all the things I had learned from another point of view. We need to rethink ourselves, experiment and be creative, even if they told us we are not.
Thinking Big Data means conforming to univocal rules. I wanted to express my Small Data, the instinct for too long repressed.
The question I ask you is: how are you going to rekindle your mind and harmonize Big Data and Small Data?
As Einstein we must have the courage to look around and overturn what we see. This is the art of vision … »
Taking risks repays, no doubt: in Milan Erik Wahl brought a lucky man to the stage from the audience and gave him the work he had just finished.
In the last ten years he has shared his incredible message with the biggest and most influential companies in the world, leaving behind his award-winning works of art as a memory of his passion for a disruptive way of thinking. It is the Warhol of Wall Street , the Renoir of the ROI, the Picasso of productivity, the Jobs of … Well, who has a job.
What is art for you? And what is your favorite work?
“The goal of art is not to make a product. The goal of art is to produce thought. The secret is not the mechanical or technical skills that create the art but the process of introspection and the different levels of contemplation that generate it. Once you learn to embrace this process, your creative potential is limitless. My favorite work of art has not yet been invented ».
Three tips for an Italian manager? In this period of economic crisis …
Focusing – on the construction of authenticity and trust in one’s own brand .
Commitment – in learning new social media languages to understand the rapid change that is taking place in consumer buying habits.
Adaptation – in the age of innovation where change is the norm. And remember that growth and comfort can not coexist.
Social media is currently causing a huge fragmentation in the business world. It is a new language that the whole world is obliged to learn. It is strongly fragmentary because it is not structured. Effectiveness and profitability are no longer the strongest currency for measuring the health of a business . Trust is the currency that matters most in our new economy. Trust is in creating authentic experiences for its customers. Trust generates an emotional connection that challenges the price. Confidence can only be created around the personalization of the product or the customer service experience. Trust is humanization of the business . Confidence is emotional in a unique way. It is the explanation of why we buy and what we buy. And trust builds up in a unique way, strengthened and amplified on social media » .
And three tips for the new president Donald Trump?
“Only one piece of advice really matters to me now. Tolerance and compassion to unify and heal our deeply divided nation “.
As you write, creativity has two sides: the spark of inspiration and the routine of work. What is your spark?
“Creating something from nothing is my spark. Creativity is the change that changes everything. I need it as an alarm clock because I’m excited to get out of bed and feed my life in every skill I have, to be a creator rather than a critic. “
How can we open the mind? To be the best version of ourselves …
” We can expand our minds by getting into Beta mode … Being Beta is being creative . It is basic to my work as an artist and as an entrepreneur. Being Beta is: do not show me what to see, but teach me how to see. And once I know how to see the opportunities that were hidden in a flat vision emerge.
Being Beta is the process of expanding my awareness. It suspends the anxiety generated by temporally linear thought and allows me to access an inner sanctuary of great calm.
Logic is rational, but the single lens of logic simply can not capture the subtle artistic beauty of life that surrounds me all the time. Being Beta is not the opposite of logic, but rather beyond it. Being Beta fascinates my mind, shakes the nerve cells and opens up my emotional intelligence to give space to free and non-judgmental peripheral visions ».
Failure is not the opposite of success. It’s part of the success … But how can we overcome the fear of failure?
” Resilience in overcoming obstacles and failure perceived as a key agent of innovation … We must be disciplined to combat the resistance of the status quo . As the business landscape continues to change, institutional complacency is the biggest enemy of innovation. Not all our ideas will work. Many will fail. We must build resilience to setbacks. We must not be afraid to fail. Failure will happen. In business, if we are afraid of failing, we will not invent anything new. Resilience in the face of bankruptcy is the key to pushing us out of our comfort zone and into innovation. Mario Andretti said that if you’re not a bit scared then you’re not going fast enough .
Translated into my work as an artist and entrepreneur: if I’m not failing, I’m probably not pushing my ideas far enough. The more I feel comfortable, the less I become innovative. Resilience is the key to feeling at ease in uncomfortable situations “.
Music plays an important role in your art. What is your favorite song and why?
“The music I listen to is energy that fuels my art. It goes from classic to hip hop and everything in between. I can be inspired by all kinds at all times “.