Working with the Undercurrents

What tomorrow’s leaders can learn from artists.
Uit: Stanford Social Innovation Review, 04-09-2013

[..] Art is not magic; most artists are not all that different from other people. However, many of them developed a skill or asset that most of us haven’t: a fascination for the undercurrent in our society, in our social encounters, in our practices, in our organizations. Working together with artists, I have learned to live with the existential question of “Am I an artist?” and love my place in between, spanning the boundary between these worlds without trying to erase it.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned about how to become more sensitive to the undercurrent in your work:

  • Look for and listen to the small stories, not just the big ones.
  • Expect the irrational and emotional; as humans, it is always there.
  • Focus on what you see and sense, not just what you hear.
  • Look at the fringe, the edges—many interesting things happen there, almost out of sight.
  • When you don’t want to go somewhere because of fear or shame or other reasons, that’s often just the reason to go there. [..]

Read the whole article here: