Art or Science?


It seems to me everyone loves music … of some type anyway.

But have you ever thought why you do in fact enjoy the experience?

And have you ever thought: If I learn music, or how to play an instrument, will I be able to compose a great song?

Unfortunately the reality is that just understanding the technique (read science) required to compose a great piece (no matter how long you practise) is simply not enough.

So what is the difference between being technically able to create wonderful music and actually doing it?

As they say, that’s a great question … it’s mysterious.

Mysterious is defined as being: difficult or impossible to understand, explain or identify.

I.E. it is the exact opposite to being Scientific, which is defined as being characterized by the methods and principles of science.

QED Composing great music is a mystery … and as such cannot be learned.

And Innovation falls into this basket as well!

Innovation is an Art NOT a Science.

I recently went to an Art Show in Sydney and after quickly perusing the hundred or so items on display selected six pieces that especially appealed to me.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that all the paintings I liked had one thing in common they had a small red dot on the bottom of their frames … they had all been sold!

What’s more none of the others on display had snared a purchaser.

What I’m saying is like music I can tell what art I like … when I see it … but I can’t explain why.

Unlike music or art I have spent many years studying Innovation not only in the field as a practitioner but also as a researcher.

I think I can say I am fairly knowledgeable on the subject, however I cannot guarantee that any particular innovative project I undertake will 100% succeed … even with many years of experience and with a network of collaborators to support my efforts.

All one can realistically hope to achieve is to greatly increase the probability of eventual success – currently less than 5%.

Future WOL blogs will examine how this can be achieved, especially within SMEs operating in this country.

Dr Andrew M Connery is the Director of Innovation at CTPM Australasia and has been active online since 2001.

Andrew completed his PhD at the UOW’s Sydney Business School in 2015 his doctoral dissertation ‘Overcoming Barriers to the Introduction of Perceived Disruptive Innovations in to Rigid Efficient Systems’.

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