Motivating Millions

Cultural double-take

On Friday night I was flitting between two rooms at home and caught sections of two programmes, one on TV, one radio, which seemed very linked and which I must return to – to listen again.

The first was the 2015 John Peel lecture by Brian Eno. The title of his lecture was ‘The ecology of culture’

He was talking about culture in the widest arts setting, from hairdressing to opera. There was a fundamental idea at the heart of his argument that I think applies to business or organisational culture too.

He talks about ‘genius’ and ‘scenious’ and the thought that the brilliance and creativity of individuals and the evolution of ‘scenes’ are inextricably linked.

Artists make breakthroughs often with the support of groups, networks and a specific set of conditions and contexts. There are many examples of artists, designers, musicians and architects who seemingly unconnected have made similar work, with similar principles at around the same time.

Working like an ecosystem.

As an ecosystem, culture is organic, and defies attempts to constrain it, but given the right conditions and nurture, can naturally generate leaps in creative thinking and ideas.

It made a lot of sense and culture’s been on my mind a lot recently… can it be created? Is it remotely within our control or is it about creating the right conditions for stuff to… just happen?

Anyway, take a listen:

The second was ‘The Digital Human: Nostalgia’ on BBC Radio 4

Don’t ask me why I thought it was connected and worth coming back to… it’s Friday again, it’s been a busy week and I’ve forgotten. But I’m going to give it another go.


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