Yellow spots

April 29, 2007

I came across the following quote from Pablo Picasso over the weekend.

There are painters who transform the sun to a yellow spot, but there are others who with the help of their art and their intelligence, transform a yellow spot into the sun.

It seemed apposite, given recent discussions on the ActKM listserv in which we had an advocate of the all knowledge management has to be information management persuasion. A case of making suns into yellow spots, or reducing human intelligence and insight into data perhaps?

Of course once you start checking out quotes (or looking for illustrations) you find more, so another Picasso quote of high relevance to knowledge management, and management in general:

Art is not the application of a canon of beauty but what the instinct and the brain can conceive beyond any canon. When we love a woman we don’t start measuring her limbs.

Maybe we need a little more art, a little less of trying to render tacit knowledge into explicit forms; a little more engagement and a little less abstraction?

Oh, and one definition of render for good measure:

4 melt down (fat) : the fat was being cut up and rendered for lard.
process (the carcass of an animal) in order to extract proteins, fats, and other usable parts : [as adj. ] ( rendered) the rendered down remains of sheep.)

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The Cynefin Company (formerly known as Cognitive Edge) was founded in 2005 by Dave Snowden. We believe in praxis and focus on building methods, tools and capability that apply the wisdom from Complex Adaptive Systems theory and other scientific disciplines in social systems. We are the world leader in developing management approaches (in society, government and industry) that empower organisations to absorb uncertainty, detect weak signals to enable sense-making in complex systems, act on the rich data, create resilience and, ultimately, thrive in a complex world.

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