A friend introduced me to the Japanese term Mingei. It’s a philosophy which recognizes that ordinary objects can have both function and beauty. The idea has its roots in crafts and folk art like cups, bowls, or pots – things that are necessary, but also beautiful. It reminded me of the way Steve Jobs used to talk about the aesthetics of technology.
Without getting too philosophical, I’ve been thinking about how interactions between people, in particular among leaders, could be both functional and beautiful. Whether it be a collaboration, a coaching conversation, a problem solving meeting, even a sales call. All of these could be beautiful.
What elements would have to be present to be both functional and beautiful? I suspect it has something to do with the attitude we bring, the knowledge we possess, and how skillful we are all coming together at once for a burst of excellence or even effectiveness. In the same way an athlete, an artist, or a performer brings their talents for a great performance. Even a beautiful one.