Great performers become invisible on the stage. The actor becomes indistinguishable from the character.
“If you are really good the performer disappears” Nico Muhly
Design is often noticed when it’s bad, so great design is often hard to see and appreciate. Because it just works, it’s easy to miss the hard work that was necessary to make it so intuitive to use.
And good facilitation of events and workshops requires you to allow the people in the room to have the conversation they need and want to have. Not to get in the way and hog the limelight. I used to find it slightly odd, when facilitating a big workshop, that people would sometimes not realise I was the facilitator when chatting to them whilst standing in the cue for coffee at the break. However I hope it means that my facilitation was good enough that they didn’t notice me it and were more engaged in the content.
And innovation is a similarly slippery. At it’s best when invisible and it’s value is only obvious in hindsight. Rather innovation is a by-product of other things – good culture, good conversations, agile attitude – and not an end in itself that can be manufactured. Many organisations say they want to be innovative but actually make it clear that they don’t want any of the things that come with it, including risk, hard graft and disruption.
All of these things – performance, design, facilitation and innovation – are often intangible and therefore hard to justify investing time and money in. Few genuinely have the foresight to authentically foster innovation, but the more important question should be, what if you don’t?
Image credit: Takaiguchi