Posts Tagged ‘Performance Management’


Technology and the Art of Living

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

Technology and the art of livingOne of the problems with the Western education system, which spills into many other areas of life, is the excessive compartmentalisation of knowledge into narrow specialisations.

Yet the most creative breakthroughs often come from cross-fertilisation of ideas from other disciplines. For example Mary Midgley describes “slipping out over the wall of the tiny arid garden cultivated at that time under the name of British Moral Philosophy” to wrestle with questions of human nature, culture and evil by learning from psychologists, anthropologists and biologists. As a result she has produced some of the most profound and exciting works of philosophy in recent years.

I’ve just finished reading another book that crosses boundaries – in this case also across different cultures. The Art of Living – aesthetics of the ordinary in world spiritual traditions by Crispin Sartwell is perhaps an unfortunate title for such a revelatory book. The heart of the book is a critique of how we came to separate art from technology in Western culture – a separation which is not there in other cultures and which was not present in European culture until the 18th Century. (more…)

From Best Practice to Best People

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

From Best Practice to Best PeopleThe Harvard Business Review blog has an interesting article Which Best Practice is Killing Your Business? which starts with the example of how the “quality” newspapers in Britain hung onto the impractical “broadsheet” format for years without realizing that it was hurting their sales. This “best practice” had first developed 300 years ago at a time when taxes were paid on the number of pages a newspaper printed, and as a result newspapers made their pages bigger and bigger.

The taxes had long-since been abolished, but the practice held on. The Times, Guardian, FT, Telegraph and Independent all assumed that they needed the broadsheet form factor to distinguish themselves from the Tabloids. But they were wrong! (more…)