The process of creativity can be very messy. In fact, it is perhaps necessarily messy.
Like the artist’s workshop. The palette is volcanic, his cloths dirty, the floor is full of stuff, the place is bursting with stacked boxes, old newspapers, filthy pots and a collection of painted and semi-painted canvasses. The blank ones are in temporary waiting mode in a corner of the room. The vacuum cleaner was last seen in the place at the end of World War II. The workshop in fact seems like a World War III exploratory laboratory.
But the final painting is a beautiful and delicate masterpiece.
Creation emerged from chaos, from little daily pieces of Big Bang. The final, unique product consumed all entropy in the room, all cigarette smells, all residual double malts and a few gallons of mediocre coffee. All seemed to make their way in pilgrimage to that canvass.
I can’t imagine the same unique, beautiful masterpiece being created in a white coat laboratory, or a clinically sterile setting, or twenty Six Sigma workshops for that matter.
We have been led to believe that the shaping of a future in our organizations requires the strictness of Precise Mechanics. It is in fact closer to Clay Modelling . We aim for an amphora, but, in the process, the hands get very dirty and dictate every round trip to the final shape, spitting little pieces here and there, and witnessing the more than occasional falling apart disaster.
We need to understand that Precise Mechanics (read: reams of powerpoints by Big Consulting) offer only temporary solace, the deceitful high of a few drinks followed by the reality of a painful hangover and the sense of an unsolved mystery.
Maybe we should send managers to do pottery instead of MBAs.
Previously posted in June 2018.