Organizational Artistry LO12276

Mnr AM de Lange (
Thu, 30 Jan 1997 11:10:19 GMT+2

Clyde Howell wrote in LO12209 about artists

> They begin to create and innovate.

and ended by writing:

> 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?

Dear organlearners,

Clyde, there is an English saying about birds of a feather. You are not
the only bird of that feather. Winfried Deijman think along the same
lines. I also think likewise, but I will try to give you a different
perspective why I think so. It is based on the pattern entropy ->
creativity -> learning.

The key to understand this perspective is your first sentence quoted
above. Let me reformulate it slightly: Artists often exhibit emergent

Let us now consider the first important question:
(i) What exactly is an 'emergent creation'?

One way to answer this question is to list a wide range of
examples of emergent creations and then to hunt for common
patterns. Here is a list:
1 The creation of a electron-positron pair out of a photon near
a baryon.
2 The creation of a carbon dioxide molecule out of one carbon
atom and two oxygen atoms.
3 The creation of a daughter cell (sigote) out of the two gametes
of the two parent clones.
4 The creation of a seedling out of a seed kernel by uptaking
water from the environment.
5 The creation of a chick out of an egg together with an
environment (heat, oxygen) sustaining the hatching.
6 The creation of the number 2 as the result of adding 1 to 1.
7 The creation of a new business out of a collection of
different expertises.
8 The creating a new musical genre out of two or more old genres.
9 The creation of the thought that artistry is important to
organisational learning.

>From the patterns common to these examples we may infer a
number of important properties of an emergent creation.
1 Emergence is found in examples which range from subatomic
particles in the material word to macro relationships in the
abstract world. In other words, emergence is a universal
2 The word creation may be used rather than words like formation
and construction in the discription of any emergence.
Sometimes the use of the word creation in an example is
unfamiliar because we use a definitive word in that example.
However, although unfamiliar, the word creation is still
3 Various examples show different degrees of emergent
creativity. Thus we should not think of creativity as merely
'human creativity', but rather as 'deep creativity'. On top of
the ladder is human creativity.
4 Every emergence depends on some constituents. However, the
emergent creation is asymmetric-transitive (innovative,
bohemian) rather than symmetric-reflexsive to the constituent
5 In every example the emergence with its revolutionary nature
is followed by a growing/digesting period in which an
evolutionary nature is exhibited.

The second important question is:
(ii) How does emergent creations happen?

The first way to explain it is by using a complex enough exemplar so that
we can explain almost everything in any other exemplar by relating it to
that exemplar. In other words, should the creative emergences of artists
be complex enough, we could explain, for example, organisational
emergences by it. We call such explanations metaphoric explanations.

The second way to explain it is to realise that human language itself is
of immense complexity. We can create a specific word (string of letters)
as as symbol which can stand for anything. However, what we then do, is to
categorise its meaning by reducing its possible meanings to one an only
one meaning, irrespective of the complexity of this meaning. In order to
make the reduction a categorisation, we have to give way by relating that
word to the meanings of all other words in that language. In other words,
the categorical (exact) meaning of a word is only meaningful in its
monadical (fullest/holistic) context. We call explanations based on such
words terminological explanations. This is why we so often speak of
'scientific terms'.

The insight needed is to realise that scientific explanations are still
metaphoric explanations! The metaphor used for scientific explanations are
the SYMBOL, whether it be a scientific term or a mathematical sign. Just
as we have to relate the artist to all possible other emergences, we have
to relate this scientific term (symbol) to all other words (symbols) in
that language! This task, when it concerns a super lingua franca (a
language which imbeds all terminologies), is very complex so that we often
faail in it. This is, I think, what Ray Evans Harrel wants to tell you.

We can now use the second way of explanation (i.e. using a
categorical-monadical terminology) to explain how emergent creations
happen. The terminology will have to make use of already existing terms
such as energy and entropy. In fact, I have already used these terms in
some of my previous explanations. I will gladly repeat the explanation in
terms of energy, entropy, chaos, order, complexity, bifurcation, etc., but
not in this contribution in order to save on length.

A detailed explanation will also be given in my forthcoming book.

But so can the artists, if you only will give them the opportunity to try
and do it! They are among the best to tell you about revolutionary
creativity, about creating chaos of becoming, working towards a
bifurcation, trying to avoid an immergence while reaching out for the
emergence, etc. But they are also huamns. Since they are so good at it,
they may easily neglect to tell you that these emergences are
intermittent, that they have to be feeded by periods of digestions, etc.
Thus they might not be so good in tell you also about evolutionary
creativity. One noticeable exception is Beethoven.

The third important question is:
(iii) Can we afford in any LO to learn as little as possible
about emergent creations?

If we do not realise that the five words 'TO LEARN IS TO CREATE'
constitute a correct (trueand valid) statement, then our learning will be
meagre because we have destroyed its essence, namely creativity. Once we
are satisfied with meagre learning, then we cannot argue anymore what
learning we can afford or not, because we are only capable of meagre
learning. Since the very use of the word "afford" implies some
constituents ('affordants') from which the desired emergent has to follow,
we have to accept emergence as a correct part of reality. The realisation
that the statement 'TO LEARN IS TO CREATE' is correct, is itself an
emergence of the highest order. Once we have that realisation, then our
learning will escape from its meagreness.

The most important property of this universe is its creativity: the
Creator's creation creates! How foolish will I be when I accept the
previous sentence, except when it concerns human learning. It is because
of this universal creativity that today differs from yesterday and
tomorrow will be different from today. It is because of this creativity
that organisations change from day to day. How foolish will I be when
particpating in the changes of an organisation without knowing how these
changes happen. In order to participate wisely in changes, we learn. We
learn primarily to create that future which we desire - even in our
organisations. If I learn for any other primary reason, then I am a fool.

Just like with all other creative activities, learning also has the
revolutionary and evolutionary phases. The revolutionary phase is needed
for a new concept to emerge in the mind. However, the bifurcation of the
revolutionary phase often leads to immergences rather than emergences. The
myth that a new concept is primarily acquired by importing a concept and
then memorising it, is such an immergence. If this myth is correct, where
then do the myriad of concepts emerge since they cannot emerge in a
person's mind?

Just to illustrate how far we have immerged rather than emerged in our
conceptualisation of learning, let us call the revolutionary phase of
learning its artistic phase. Did any teacher ever told you that the
acquiring of a new concept is like practising art. Which teacher
encouraged the chaos of becoming (like brainstorming) within you? Which
teacher insisted that you have to work towards a bifurcation (like a
crossroads) in your understanding of something? Which teacher accompanied
you in capitalising on your failures, i.e. in converting your immergences
into an emergence? Which teacher showed you how to take care of the newly
borne, noble thought?

Once we realise how important emergent (artistic) learning is to us, we
are in a much better position to learn about the importance of emergent
creations in general. We will begin to see art almost everywhere. It will
pop out so much in even the most ordinary and insignificant walks of our
life that the craze to go to massive pop festivals will vanish. Our lives
will become rejuvenated - and so our organisations.

Clyde, artistry is desireable. It is the heart beat of any organisation.
It has to be provided for in all rooms, beginning with the board room.
You, Winfried Deijman, Ray Evans Harrel and others are not in the left
field, but right in the centre field.

In Afrikaans we use the word 'sa' to mean 'go for it'. It is a short,
explosive sound with the 'a' sounding like the 'a' in 'what'.


Best wishes
- --

At de Lange
Gold Fields Computer Centre for Education
University of Pretoria
Pretoria, South Africa


"Mnr AM de Lange" <>

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