The beauty of a Rodin sculpture is the result of a man who was a master in systems thinking. His vision and talent lead to art that was created within defined and dynamic boundaries. Organizational systems thinking, at once so dull sounding when applied to a business yet so stimulating when referring to art, contains the same core concepts used by the greats such as Rodin.
Rodin understood that patterns connect and create relationships between elements and that interaction is what comprises the system. On a large scale, that is similar to a business organization, Rodin ran a commanding and productive workshop. Whether it was with patrons, foundry workers, assistants or models, Rodin had an enduring and often (ahem) intimate knowledge of the interconnectedness of all involved. An angry model informed the outcome, even if it was ever so slightly, as did the hands of the master sculpting. No element was independent.Good leaders channel their inner Rodin. The talent of recognizing each component of the system in a reductionist fashion yet placing each component effectively within the whole is an art form worthy of the Masters. Dynamics, interdependence, goal seeking, differentiation and inputs are some of the tenets placed on the leader’s pallet. What would Rodin create?
Rodin would create many masterpieces, such as the iconic Thinker. The Thinker was the result of the macro systems thinking approach Rodin implemented within his productive workshop, yet it was only part of the equation. The other part of the whole, and nestled within the macro system, was the micro system of Rodin’s relationship with his creativity, talent and materials. Never one to believe that success meant staying static, Rodin worked within his micro system to seek patterns that were previously not apparent and to assemble new and exciting wholes from the contained parts. His assemblage sculpture is proof that his radical and idiosyncratic approach was the result of a deep comprehension of connections wi thin a system. He understood that relationships were dynamic and that everything evolves, especially systems. Knowing that a work of art needed to originate from him and his micro system before he could integrate it into the macro system Rodin was the progenitor of modern sculpture. In business, appreciating the importance of systems thinking is vital to building inspired and effective organizations. Leaders who can understand the system processes involved on a micro and macro level can transform the inputs and outputs of a business and, as a result, can preside over their workshops in the true form of a master.