Art, creative judgement & shared human drives

Elitists put up barriers to entry to art.  They use alienating jargon to send outsiders a message that they’re not clever or worthy enough to get it. “Get it?”

But there are those who diminish art and people who love it because they don’t get it. They crumple it underfoot. Or say that it is purely subjective. “I like what I like.”

That part, about personal preference, can’t be refuted; but you can make creative judgements.

I may like blues and you pop but we can both hear when the singer is out of tune.

There is unaccomplished art. There is skilled composition & technique, intention. There is also great art that we neither like nor comprehend.

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‘Aloneness’

If you want to be more deeply connected, spend time alone.

That’s not a fact, underpinned by research. It’s a reflection. An anecdote. But it may have value.

If you came to me and said – I feel empty, or – as if something is missing – if you complained about feeling blocked or stagnant or that negative drama (gossip, shouting, pointing the finger) made you feel more alive – I would say: think about spending some more time alone.

That’s regardless of being an extravert, introvert, or even ambivert (think happy middle ground).

These are just personality types.

The value of being alone transcends categories. It’s a deliberate practice of not seeking someone (or something) other to fill you up. I believe it’s a deep human need, as vital as connection.

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Productivity needs play

Given that innovation is practically a mantra for CEOs globally and that countless studies have laid out the conditions for creating it, you’d think workplaces would be operating a little differently from a decade or so ago.

The literature is overflowing with cries for agility, decentralized networks, collaborative architecture or cultures that enable creativity through play.

Yet few organizations walk their talk, demanding innovation while pinning people to desks and archaic behaviours that confer credibility simply because they are familiar.

Companies continue to worry about absenteeism rather than the far more concerning trend of what Harvard Business Review’s Paul Hemp calls presenteeism – where workers turn up without really being there, and which is far more costly than paid sick leave.

Why do we still measure inputs rather than outputs, promote head-down-bum-up cultures that drive outcomes from A to B when we know that quantum leaps result from more haphazard associations?

We have entrenched views on what a serious workplace looks like. And despite studies that suggest serious is not synonymous with productive, many of us cling to old ideas rather than pushing against them. But push we should.

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