We live in a complex world but management theory thinks that we live in a complicated one. Management theory is a technology that treats everything as a machine: the market is a machine, the organization is a machine and people are machines. In a complicated world we can think of precisely what we want to achieve and plan out a path to get there, just like a machine. We live in a complex world, not a complicated one. In a complex world cause and effect don’t always work because a complex world is non-linear. The way things work changes over time. That is why leadership is an art.
Art is all about the feeling you get. Leadership is about trusting your gut feel. You can’t reason your way to the answer; you can only see it in hindsight. You need to feel the right answer. Leadership is an art. In these pages we will explore together some of what this means. What it means to me is different from what it means to you, which is why this is an exploration, together.
This does not mean that management technology is neglected. Quite the contrary. Every artist needs to have full control of their chosen medium to dare and achieve greatly and management technology is the medium of leadership. The essays on these pages describe the technology that the art of leadership needs.
There are two main pieces to this web site: HBR article reviews and Essays. The reviews and the essays support each other. Most of the articles in the Harvard Business Review are worthwhile and the HBR section contains reviews of these from the standpoint of leadership as an art and presents them in a blog format. You will find the article reviews in the HBR section of this site and the essays in the Essay section. Please refer to the menu bar at the top of the page. Also in the menu bar you will find the Services page which gives a brief description of the services I offer. There is also the usual About page and Contact information page.