aes – thet – ics – (noun) a set of principles concerned with the nature and appreciation of beauty
An idea is only an intention until it has been perfected, polished, and produced.
– Marty Neumeier
According to Marty Neumeier, Director of Transformation at the Liquid Agency, the same principles that activate other forms of art will soon become essential to the art of leadership. The more technological our culture becomes, the more we’ll need the sensual and metaphorical power of beauty.
Take a look at the chart below, and see how the aesthetics of the single word on the left inspires your curiosity of leadership through the questions on the right.
The Aesthetics of Leadership
Contrast – How can we differentiate ourselves?
Depth – How can we succeed on many levels?
Focus – What should we NOT do?
Harmony – How can we achieve synergy?
Integrity – How can we forge the parts into a whole?
Line – What is our trajectory over time?
Motion – What advantage can we gain from speed?
Novelty – How can we use the surprise element?
Order – How should we structure our organization?
Pattern – Where have we seen this before?
Repetition – Where are the economies of scale?
Rhythm – How can we optimize time?
Proportion – How can we keep our strategy balanced?
Scale – How big should our organization be?
Shape – Where should we draw the edges?
Texture – How do details enliven our culture?
Unity – What is the higher-order solution?
Variety – How can diversity drive innovation?
What beautiful thing are you creating in your organization today?
When I’m working on a problem, I never think about beauty. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong.
– Buckminster Fuller
inspired by and adapted from Marty Neumeier’s The Designful Company