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The Necessary Outlaw
Walls look like order; but more often than not a wall stands at the precise fulcrum of an imbalance in society. Most walls are only necessary as a means of defending the resources of those that have them from those that lack them. In this way, though they present themselves as mechanisms of security, they are in fact tools of oppression.
The Book of Trespass. Nick Hayes. p98.
Why is it that when we take vibrant, interesting, purposeful people and put them into organisations, the energy disappears to be replaced by a form of safe compliance? What is it about the enclosures of an organisation structure?
Thinking - good, innovative, exciting, critical thinking - of the sort that spurs generative change - relies on friction. It’s not until someone points out that the emperor is rather scantily clad that people notice familiar surroundings in a new light.
Yet we design our organisations to obviate friction, from insisting on pronouns to filtering out originality at interviews in favour of safe diversity. We create enclosures to keep people and ideas separated. We end up with grey businesses that barely have a detectable pulse, and our jobs become something to get through unscathed rather than make the difference we joined it for.
The trouble with being enclosed and “looked after” is that we end up with the same relationship as the farmer and her turkeys.
Artisans, though, have an outlaw inside of them prepared to cross boundaries set by others in their own interest. That outlaw, that trickster in us who will question, explore and take risks, is increasingly valuable and necessary. We need to nurture it if we are to do our best work.
Because Christmas is for the farmers, not the turkeys.
“Rules direct us to average behaviours. If we’re aiming to create works that are exceptional, most rules don’t apply. Average is nothing to aspire to. The goal is not to fit in. If anything, it’s to amplify the differences, what doesn’t fit, the special characteristics unique to how you see the world. Instead of sounding like others, value it, cherish it.”
Creative Act. Rick Rubin. P98.
If an idea fits neatly into what we’re doing, it is little more than a refinement of an existing way of doing things.
Good ideas require outlaws.
Tomorrow, Weds 3rd May, we have our regular “First Wednesday” open Zoom session.
Next week, Weds 10th May, 6:00pm we have our first paid subscriber Zoom session to discuss how we develop our own artisanal Skills and encourage them in those we work with…