Organizational Artistry LO12267

Slamet Hendry (
Wed, 29 Jan 1997 23:28:58 +0700

> From: JC Howell <>
> An artist seeks to gain conceptual mastery, not just technical mastery.
> In fact, technical mastery may not be desired, just technical competence.

> Once conceptual mastery has been achieved, those concepts go on to become
> a part of that person's essence. They process these concepts without
> conscious effort. They begin to create and innovate. They express their
> innermost ideas and ideals through this medium. They also continue to
> grow and develop in that area ... because they have to. This continues
> regardless of the vocational context they encounter.
> We usually think of an artist as one who draws, or sculpts, or plays
> music. I think the term artist can also be applied to managers,
> technicians, professionals, secretaries and office managers.
> What do you think? Am I out in left field here? Is there room in the
> typical organization for artistry? In a Learning Organization? Is
> artistry desirable?

Max DePree wrote a book called "Leadership is an Art" and "Leadership
Jazz." Both are excellent books, although I prefer Jazz.

I think the higher we go up the management ladder, the more conceptual
"things" become. We will find less and less hard and fast rules. So we
need to "improvise." A lot. Just like a typical artist, organizational
leaders adapts and "improvises" their knowledge to manage whatever comes
their way.

Successful artists, in general, are those who can express their
improvisation / creativity well. In organization, leaders who fails,
generally, are those who cannot "improvise/innovate" creatively enough
and/or fast enough.

Much like a Jazz musician, an "organizational artist" need to know enough
of the basics to be able to "improvise/innovate." The talented ones can
reach mastery without much effort, while others may struggle through years
of mixed success, which people usually label "practice" in art world, or
"experience" in organizations. Which why it is hard, bec you either need
to be talented or experienced or both to be "successful" in this age.

(Notice I use quotes for the word "improvise." That is because I hope the
readers would not interpret it narrowly, but creatively to suit the more
applicable expression for your organization.)

"Organizational artists." I like that idea.

Slamet Hendry

Change is good. You go first. (Scott Adams)


"Slamet Hendry" <>

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