Thursday, May 10th, 2018
Posted by Brittany Diamondunder:
Have you ever been stuck on a puzzle for hours or days, got frustrated, and tossed it aside only to come back a day later and solve it almost immediately? These type scenarios prove how mindsets grasp us under their talons of analytical rigidity. The same goes for the workplace though. When teams come together with similar methods of approach to solving problems, they can often fall into a grim pattern of inefficiency and unproductivity. As a company consisting mainly of engineers, scientists, and technology specialists, we at Decisions Oriented (DO) want to clear something up: the arts are just as important as the sciences in creating a successful workplace.
Two Types of Knowledge
Just like how people often group one another as ‘cat people’ or ‘dog people’, we can (broadly) categorize our knowledge as based on observation and intuition. Although a person has both types of knowledge, they tend to favor one over the other. Think of it as a sliding scale that moves left to right based on experience, wisdom, and perspective.
For scientists, mathematicians, and other analytical individuals, they gain knowledge through understanding observations within their discipline first and then building concepts, hypotheses, and theories around a structured framework of ideas. Artists, on the other hand, tend to use their intuition, often cultivating ideas from innate vision, perception, and motivators. Both sides of the spectrum present a different approach to solving problems; while it may seem easy to point to one or the other for remedying a specific situation, going too far to one side of the scale can actually hinder, instead of aid, the resolution process.
Pedal to the Metal! Scale Extremes
For individuals who lean too far to the science side, a breakdown in communication could occur when trying to convey information to others. Imagine approaching a conversation as a robot – basing all statements on what you see, hear, and know from previous interactions. The other person eventually becomes estranged or feeling awkward. This is quite normal for a ‘pure’ science approach to conversation. There needs to be a level of intuitiveness to understand another person’s reactions, motivations and aspirations because humans are not always rational. Science is restricted to rational thought whereas the arts use the irrational to attain deep insight into living things’ drivers. When used under the context of interaction, this is termed ‘emotional intelligence’.
On the other hand, going too far to the arts side of the spectrum can also lead to challenges. Going too far leads to eccentricity. The result is a lack of credibility when asserting conflicting ideas to a group. Therefore, it is necessary to incorporate a bit of scientific thought when constructing solutions in the workplace.
Incorporating Both Science and Art into the Workplace
This applies to not only individuals and their communication patterns; it applies on a larger scale as well. DO has always prided itself on a diverse workforce because we understand the need for balancing out the scale of science and art. Take architecture for example: constructing buildings requires both skills in engineering and design in order to create structures that are both structurally sound and appealing for potential buyers. The scientific elements can include materials analysis, resistance modeling, and load bearing thresholds. Artistic elements, on the other hand, could include natural and electrical lighting placement, styles, and layouts. Together, they form a product optimal to the tastes of their clients.
At DO, we strive to achieve the same level of satisfaction with our clients. Therefore, we look to hire individuals with different backgrounds and placements on the scale. Additionally, each employee has the opportunity to grow by attending colloquia, educational events, and participating in skill-building activities. People are not stagnant; they are dynamic. By leveraging different levels of science and art into our work, products, and services, we attain a higher level of workplace cohesiveness and effectiveness. As such, DO supports partners and other organizations who promote constructive flexibility within their workplace. The bottom line: Arts are just as important as science in maintaining a prosperous business.
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