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Corporate Strategy as an art (II): The Stone age.

Have a relaxed weekend. Before anything else, let me explain again the rationale behind our sailing art journey over our lifetime as human beings. We will start to explore what is defined as art, from the beginnings of our existence through our current days. In a few months (in 29 episodes from now), we will understand deeply why are we doing this? Why is Eleonora Escalante Strategy mixing the most important management discipline as the corporate strategy with art?  And why do top consulting firms as Bain, PWC, BCG, Deloitte and McKinsey (in between other consulting houses in the world) have to switch their strategic mindsets to an integral corporate strategic consulting approach? Why is it important to remind us of the artistic mind framework in human beings when triggering business models with new technologies trends to sell new products and services?. Why is it so remarkable to consider an integral corporate strategic consulting which is based on the integral human being, not just in numbers or data analytics?. You will comprehend it. Little by little. Or in Francais, “petit a petit”.

As I mentioned previously, I am not an expert in art. My dominant mental framework is about innovation in the corporate strategy field. And I am pleased to connect the dots between art and corporate strategy because I wish to make a statement in relation to our purpose on the planet. Again, the structure of this saga is valiantly throughout my hypothesis: “Corporate Strategy, as it is done now, is imbalanced” (or corporate strategy, as it is effectuated nowadays, is out of balance). We will stick to this hypothesis and art will help us to confirm it. In addition, our journey through art will be notably general. I can´t write specifically with details about it (if I do it, I will spend three years writing about art in this blog and that is not my aim either). For those who wish to dig profoundly into specifics of art in the context of different cultures, or at each human stage, I will always provide website links for you below.

Eliescalante Corporate Strategy as an art outline.jpg

Let´s start. In general, if we wish to know about art during the stone age, or prehistoric era, regardless if we are talking about the Paleolithic, Mesolithic or Neolithic periods, our first question bursting up in our heads is: What was art in the Stone Age? Are we discerning correctly in relation to the early human manifestations of “art”? What did human beings create as “art” in an interval lasting from about 3,300,000 to 11,700 years BCE? Do you think the traces we have found on caves were considered as artistic expressions by the ones who made them?

The stone implements or tools (pebble, bifacial, flake and blade) from the Stone Age were manufactured by our human ancestors to solve their basic needs and wants. These tools were utilized for a specific given purpose.  Traces of these tools have been found in Europe, Asia, Africa, and The Americas.   stone toolsThese artifacts were the equivalent utensils to our knives or machetes. Even though we can find these utensils preserved in some museums, I  doubt these utensils were considered as art by those who fabricated them.  In the late Paleolithic period, a variety of materials for their tools and bodily ornaments included bones, stones, wood, ivory, antler, and shells. Nevertheless, archeologists and art historians believe the way our ancestors registered their activities was through some techniques. The basic techniques of drawing, modeling, sculpture, and painting as well as the earliest manifestations of dancing, music were found in their histories or painted snapshots told in the caves. My personal inference is that human beings from the Stone Age maybe wished or felt the need to register what they liked or loved in their shelters, or they wished to sculpt using their utensils. There is evidence of drawings or sculptures which offer a dimension of sexuality, spiritual ceremonies, collective hunting, animals and maybe weird signs to prompt the “private property” for these Homo Sapiens territories. We can find repeatedly paintings about reindeer, bison, mammoths, horses, bears, wolves, deers, boars, rhinos. Why did the man of the prehistoric age paint animals? During the upper paleolithic period, archeologists have found more artifacts as graver, burin, end scrapers, points which made possible the extensive working of bone and facilitated the development of portable art. The majority of the oldest manifestations of art are from the Upper Paleolithic period, and they fall into two closely related categories: Mural art and portable art. By observing the mural arts, we have discriminated that humans have had a well-organized observation of animals and collective hunting activities.

venus of willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf is an 11.1 centimeters tall Venus figurine estimated to have been made 30,000 BCE.

Anthropologists have been more interested in artistic expressions found inside the pre-historic caves, than art erudite representatives. Why? Is it possible to conclude that mural arts or Venus statues (feminine sculptures) as the Venuses of Willendorf, of Grimaldi, of Tan-Tan, had a connection with spiritual religious ceremonies? Or were these sculptures simply a fascination from the pre-historic age artist who loved to have sex with his partner and decided to sculpt a woman?

Lascaux paintings.jpg

Lascaux is famous for its Palaeolithic cave paintings, found in a complex of caves in the Dordogne region of southwestern France. Estimated to be up to 20,000 years old. Source: Bradshaw Foundation.

Is it possible that the images inside the caves represent a sign of a collective survival activity like hunting, or was it simply a mural art to embellish the stone walls where the humans lived? Have you seen the concept of shadows and lightness on stone-era paintings? If humans of the stone age could do cave paintings at Lascaux, they also were able to do corporate strategy decisions.


Why is the prehistoric man trying to tell us something by drawing or painting or doing sculptures? Was art used to express an activity linked to eating, or merely a survival? An activity linked to fecundity and fertility? An activity to cherish life? An activity to relish death and wait for life after the internment? Or were the humans of the stone age trying to communicate something else to the next generations? What were the concepts of beauty and basic subsistence inside the brains of those humans? Are we going to be able to know?

Let me finish with the following idea written by Alexandra Kiely´s blog The Origin Of The World’s Art: Prehistoric Cave Painting”“We may never know the full story of how and why prehistoric humans painted so many powerful images inside caves, but their mystery should certainly continue to be of interest to art lovers and historians far into the future. In fact, as art continues to reinvent itself, as it has consistently done throughout history, the question of exactly where art comes from and why it has become such a universal element of the human experience should only become ever more relevant”.

In terms of corporate strategy, why do you think it is important to understand art at the stone age?

More to be written in my next publication. Stay tuned. Thank you.bee

Source References used to write this publication:

Disclaimer: All the presentation slides shown on this blog are prepared by Eleonora Escalante MBA-MEng. Nevertheless, all the pictures or videos shown on this blog are not mine.  I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.


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