Artful Making What Managers Need to Know about How Artists Work

ISBN-10: 0130086959

ISBN-13: 9780130086952

Edition: 2003

Authors: Robert Austin, Lee Devin

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IntroductionManaging When You Don't Know Where You're Going If you don't know where you're going, any mapwill do. 1 Thisconventional wisdom sounds right to many managers. It highlights the safety ofhaving a clear objective for your management actions. It implies that allmanagement actions are likely to be confused and inefficient if you don'thave a clear objective. If you don't have a good fix on yourdestination-be it a product or service, a strategic or competitiveoutcome, or anything else-you may as well not start the journey.For a lot of your work, though, this so-called wisdom iswrong. Why? For one thing, you can't always know your destination inadvance. Whether you're designing a new product, running a business involatile conditions, operating a process that might encounter unforeseeninputs, or just trying to figure out what to do with your life, the journeyusually involves exploration, adjustment, and improvisation. Situations inwhich you don't or can't know the results in advance are common andconsequential. All businesses face them.If you're not too narrow in what you're willingto call "management," you can manage these situations. You canenhance effectiveness and efficiency, and you can improve the likelihood ofvaluable outcomes. However, the methods you'll use will differ from, andsometimes conflict with, methods that work when you do know where you'regoing.There is an increasingly important category ofwork-knowledge work-that you can best manage by not enforcing adetailed, in-advance set of objectives, even if you could. Often in this kindof work, time spent planning what you want to do will be better spent actuallydoing (or letting others in your charge do), trying something you haven'tthought out in detail so you can quickly incorporate what you learn from theexperience in the next attempt. In appropriate conditions-only inappropriate conditions-you can gain more value from experience than fromup-front analysis. In certain kinds of work, even if you can figure out whereyou're going and find a map to get you there, that may not be the bestthing to do.Forging ahead without detailed specifications to guide youobviously requires innovation, new actions. We take this observation one stepfurther by suggesting that knowledge work, which adds value in large partbecause of its capacity for innovation, can and often should be structured asartists structure their work. Managers should look to collaborative artistsrather than to more traditional management models if they want to createeconomic value in this new century.We call this approach artful making. "Artful,"because it derives from the theory and practice of collaborative art andrequires an artist-like attitude from managers and team members."Making," because it requires that you conceive of your work asaltering or combining materials into a form, for a purpose. 2 Materials thus treated become something new, something they would not becomewithout the intervention of a maker. This definition usually points to workthat changes physical materials, iron ore and charcoal into steel, forinstance. But the work and management we're considering don'talways do that. Instead they mostly operate in imagination, in the realm ofknowledge and ideas. While artful making improves any thing that exhibitsinterdependency among its parts, we're not primarily concerned withheating metal and beating it into shapes. We're more concerned withstrategies, product designs, or software-new things that groups create bythinking, talking, and collaborating. Artful Making Any activity that involves creating something entirely newrequires artful making. Whenever you have no blueprint to tell you in detailwhat to do, you must work artfully. A successful response to an unexpected moveby a competitor requires artful activity; so does handling a sudden problemcaused by a supplier. An artful manager operates without
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Book details

List price: $24.95
Copyright year: 2003
Publisher: FT Press
Publication date: 4/28/2003
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 240
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

What's Really Different About Knowledge Work
Artful and Industrial Making in Action
Realizing the Importance of Web Technologies at Sun Microsystems
Rolling Out Web Technology at Ford Motor Company
Comparing Sun and Ford
Streetcar at the People's Light and Theatre Company
Comparing Sun and People's Light
The Four Qualities of Artful Making (An Artful Framework)
Understanding Artful Making
Artful Making Relies on Emergence
The People's Light Way of Working
Not Quite Experiment, Not Quite Discovery
Exploration and Efficiency
Emergence in Business
Artful Making is Iterative, Not Sequential
Auto Making: Mostly Industrial
Software Making at Trilogy: Mostly Artful
The Iterative Structure of Play Production
The Script Is Not the Play, Nor Is It a Specification
The Writer's View of the Script
Rehearsal Process
Agile Software Development
Artful Making in Software Development and Theatre
Iteration as a Structure for Rigorous Work
The Prerequisite Conditions for Artful Making
Artful Making Isn't Always the Best Approach
Reconfiguration Costs
Exploration Costs
The General Applicability of Artful Making
The Role of Enabling Technologies in Reducing the Cost of Iteration
Reducing Reconfiguration Costs: Software Development
Reducing Exploration Costs: Simulation, Prototyping, and Version Control
When Artful and Industrial Making Are Combined
How Competitive Forces Drive Work Toward Artfulness
A Common Problem: Imposing Industrial Costs on Potentially Artful Processes
The Historical Evolution of Artful Making Prerequisites
Artful Making as Part of the Shift to a Knowledge Economy
Ancient Making
An Armory on the River Severn
The Costs and Benefits of Ancient Making
Toward Industrial Making
Industrial Making
Eli Whitney
Henry Ford
Frederick Winslow Taylor
The Evolution of Sequential Processes
Toward Artful Making
Artful Making
Learning to Make Artfully
Artful Making Turns Industrial Notions of Control Upside Down
Managing People Who Are Smarter Than You Are
Supervision in an Industrial Context
Management in an Artful Context
Some New Realities of Management
Control in Artful Making
Physical Release
Mind Release and Focus
Sir Alec Guinness and the Challenge of Control by Release
The Director's/Manager's Artful Lever: Focusing the Group
Saving Apollo 13: Gene Kranz as Ensemble Director
The Director's/Manager's Source of Authority
The Precision of Control by Release
Control by Release
Artful Making Reconceives; Industrial Making Replicates
Reconceiving Hamlet
Reconceiving to Recover Apollo 13
The Differences Between Reconceiving and Replicating
The Capabilities of Reconceiving and Replicating
Artful Making and the Customer
Never-Done, Constantly Improving Development
REconceiving versus Compromising
Artful Collaboration
Artful Making Requires a Secure Workspace
Securing the Workspace
Edmondson's "Psychological Safety" Concept
Security Beyond the Workspace
Creative Interchange
Working on Your "Edge"
Finding a Physical Edge
Learning to Work on Your Edge
Ego versus Vanity: Giving up Sovereignty over Your Work
Making an Ensemble
Two Kinds of Reality
A Whole Greater than the Sum of its Parts
Artful Making Embraces Uncertainty Instead of Protecting Against It
McDonald's French Fries, Varidus Cattle, and Urgent Customer Orders
Artful Making Doesn't Protect Against Uncertainty
Building Improvisational Capability: Being in "Present Time"
Improvisation and Control
Artful Making and Interdependency
The Emergent Final Purpose
Artful Making is Fiscally Responsible
Deadlines and Reliable Innovation
Funding Emergent Projects: A Venture-Based Approach
Incentive Alignment and Risk Sharing
"People, People, People"
Fiscal Responsibility in Artful Making
Artful Management
Managing Convergence and Emergence
Essential Themes
Artful Management Signposts
The Artful Making Qualities
The Four Qualities
Relationships Among Qualities
A Director on Management
A Final Word
A Last Look at the Theatre
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