Work is Art

by Jan Yuill

I had coffee with my good friend and colleague, Linda Vanderlee, on May 9, at the Baker Street Cafe in Ottawa. We got onto the subject of details (a recurring theme in many of our conversations), and how each of us notices things that others do not.

She said, “It’s like art. I study what I am trying to draw very intently, and only then do I begin to see things that I wouldn’t normally notice, if I were just passing by – the colours, the angles, the relationships, … .”

“Your work is your art,” she said. “You notice things about organizations, that others do not.”

I consider that a very big compliment.

Her thoughts about art have stuck with me. What we study intently, we see more clearly.

I suppose if everyone studied the things that interested them, we would see more art in the world. More people would create works of art, that others could never dream of, in every walk of life. In every organization.

This is the creative advantage that some organizations manage to discover and encourage. It is the source of innovation, enthusiasm, and energy that can take it to the leading edge. It is to be found in the people of the organization. In Organizations Alive! terminology, it’s Membership Potential.