There is an old saying that the path you take to reach a destination is as important as the destination itself. Whether you buy into that philosophy or not, it certainly helps explain the meaning of the word ‘aesthetic’ as used by Temenos.
A set of principles and values underlying the work of a change agent- that’s what aesthetic is according to Temenos. This means that every change agent could develop his or her own aesthetic to aid his work- the completion of which could be seen as the destination.
Aesthetic is the underlying principle of beauty
In the common parlance, aesthetic is linked to the idea of beauty. In fact, it’s a word we use to mean a sense of style, or an approach to beauty. Extending that concept, you could say that, aesthetic is an approach to work or a project a change agent undertakes.
Beauty is an ideal we look for in any facet of human life. From personal relationships to the works of art we enjoy to the way our cities are designed, we seek signs of beauty in everything. In fact, it’s as though this yearning is innate to us. Perhaps, that is a defining aspect of being human.
The realm of work is also not exempt from this seeking.
Aesthetic has imagination for its basis
But unlike in a physical object like a piece of furniture or a painting, the principles of aesthetics are hard to define when it comes to work. Because work is largely made of processes that are by nature non-physical.
Given this backdrop, the behavioral parameters of the change agent that determine how smoothly he carries out his tasks define the beauty of the work process. The work should be carried out upholding ethics, avoiding strife with colleagues and subordinates, and ensuring high quality of the outcome. This is possible only if they adhere to certain values and principles in their work.
And that becomes their aesthetic- something which makes them stand out from the rest.
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