Bringing Beauty BackPosted: November 18, 2016
I was made aware of time, date, and place well in advance, so I left my pad early to avoid arriving late, or leave any room for debate, let alone give those opposed a chance to find flaw and consequently discredit my efforts because there was a lot at stake.
The meeting which was scheduled for 12:30 pm was going to be make or break, and leading up to that moment, I kept thinking how ironic – for that was to be my opportunity to really set the record straight.
So as I took centre stage to present to the principal and his band of architects, who were clearly circumspect, and fearful of being laid off for dissent, I looked around at the faces around the boardroom, trying to take stock… soaking in the atmosphere to decide the pace of my performance, matching mood with the nature of event and choosing the appropriate communication tact.
Even though everything was happening in an instant, what I could perceive during the process however, were some characters who seemed inept but also others who I could sense would be much in agreement with the steps I was about to suggest and which they’d have to take in order to truly effect the changes necessary to improve not only the business but their overall work.
I also figured the situation called for the establishment of common ground and I had to speak their language if I was to have any chance at success. So although it wasn’t part of the presentation, I saw it fitting to go off script and do what I’d always done best, which was to bridge the gaps and make all parties realise what making the investment would give the firm in return, how significant the benefits would be, and what my proposition was really worth.
It felt appropriate so I just began with John le Carré’s statement that “a desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world” and that we all had to think outside the existing structure. Then I continued to break down the facts and figures from my meticulous research, fused with some improvised anecdotes which I knew they could all relate to, and adding some light touches of humour for instance, I made mention of Jonathan Ive’s days designing a bidet for Ideal Standard, which was met with laughter amid the intense arrangement. At the back of my mind, echoes from my preparation rang… persuade, persuade, persuade!
Once I’d said all I had to, I wrapped up by highlighting that building and engineering without consideration of beauty can never result in the erection of those edifices deemed as architecture, since the term itself implies a form of art, and not just mere construction.
I wasn’t sure I had done enough, but I knew that I’d sparked something in them which could stir debate and possibly steer them towards making a decision that was fair and that would enrich us all. And although there was no ovation or cheer, there was nonetheless a different air in the room and apparent excitement.
Now all that was left to do was to wait on the formal feedback, but I had a feeling I had just managed to bring beauty back.
The written piece is a work of the imagination. Inspired by profession, but not related to the entity hereby displayed.
© Heath Muchena, 2016