The “Old Masters” created some exceptional paintings of subjects and scenes; they were incredibly detailed and the best of them used light in remarkable ways to bring their work to life. Method was meticulously taught and aspiring painters were expected to approach their artwork in this way.
But then came “The Impressionists”; oh, those radicals who dared to produce such incomplete and unacceptable works. “That way” did not conform to accepted practice and they were banned from art shows. Yet, with perseverance impressionist artists collaborated with one another to explore new ways of artistic impression and created their own shows. And then a funny thing happened; impressionist art reached a new, broader population and inspired interest and imagination. It seems “that way” had merit after all.
What’s referred to as “Modern Art” ultimately emerged and took an even more abstract form. It relied on the viewer to interpret the work in their own way and respond accordingly. Color, texture and form can be used in that way as well. Art continues to evolve.
“Art imitates life far more than life imitates art” wrote Irish poet and playwright Oscar Wilde in 1889. There are many variations of artistic expression, all of which work for their intended purposes; “this way” works for some, while “that way” works for others. There’s more than one way to approach the subject.
So why the art illustration? Because it visually demonstrates what occurs subliminally in business. After a long time of doing things “this way”, it can be very difficult to consider other approaches. Considering “that way” may not be viewed as either necessary or acceptable. Yet the business world continues to evolve and you don’t have to look very far to see the results of refusal to acknowledge and explore new approaches to commercial activities.
Technology has become an enabler and accelerator of change; it’s application in business makes “that way” possible, when perhaps it wasn’t just a short time ago. It provides more flexible, versatile and expansive approaches for carrying out the mission. Yet, the longer a business has done it “this way”, the more difficult it can be to even consider “that way” and actually begin the process. Change and friction are uncomfortable partners.
Success today depends upon many factors, all of which move and interact at increasing speed. It’s worth the intellectual energy to figure out how to adapt in order to do more, be more and create more value through our daily efforts. Plus, it enables us to enjoy the journey!