Welcome to Art class: The “art” may be survival

If you have visited my blog before you will have read about “The collapse of complex civilisations” by Dr Joseph Tainter.

For quite a while it has been my intention to share these paintings by Thomas Cole (I’m sad enough to have the series stored in my Picture Gallery!) because it always struck me that “ol’ TC knew the score”. But I just never quite got around to it. Then, to my delight, I found this video. Job’s a good ‘un.

So you have the benefit of seeing the pictures and getting a bit of commentary too.

The Rise and fall of complex civilisations

For me, though, THE recurring question is what happens when the civilisation in question is truly global? Obviously, in Tainter’s book the past civilizations were separated by time or geography that allowed for the “cycle” to begin again…

Complex systems are really robust – up until a certain point.  I’ve referred many times to Joseph Tainter’s theory that once past that ‘certain point’, things begin to fall apart rapidly.  In Tainter’s own words:

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The new craftsmanship: A survival lesson for insurance intermediaries

This is a timely reminder for those in the insurance industry who remember what it meant to call yourself a broker without feeling slightly uncomfortable that it is no longer the role that you fulfil.

Also for those whose experience isn’t so extensive but “know” that you want to do more for clients but are unable to do so because you are left in no doubt that the interests of your employer are the top of your agenda.

Let’s face it, if your success and therefore financial security are determined by new business income or renewal retention…at any cost, something has gotta give?

“NO!” Go and seek out that rare (and often shy) creature called an insurance broker. Tell them that you want to take what you have learnt, retain the bits that “feel instinctively right” and are about genuine client satisfaction.

It is a liberating feeling to be able to look a client in the eye and to freely discuss earnings because you are not embarrassed or afraid to do so. To justify the trust they have placed in you and to advise because what you are recommending is what the client needs and NOT what is required to meet the targets set by your employer.

Moving from a culture where TRANSPARENCY is a threat to one where it can be your greatest ally (opportunity) will give anyone, who is committed to doing the job well and for the right reasons, all the motivation they need to be successful.

There’s always been a bright line around the craftsperson, someone who takes real care and produces work for the ages. Everyone else might be a hack, or a factory guy or a suit or a drone, but a craftsperson was someone we could respect.

A craftsman might be a blacksmith or a carpenter, a visual artist or even a dedicated teacher. Someone to look up to.

Perhaps we’re entering a new age of craftsmanship, one where we can see craft in the way a new business is devised, a sale is made or a website is coded. A craftsperson might be particularly talented and connected in the way she deals with clients, or be able to meet deadlines with alacrity.

Just because it’s not in a crafts fair doesn’t mean it didn’t demand craft.

via Seth’s Blog: The new craftsmanship.