The painter

What does a picture really do?

How does a good manager convey a clear and vivid picture of complex situations? He resorts to metaphors, stories or images and in so doing creates models. With these models, he describes pieces of reality for which there would otherwise be only awkward and long-winded words. On the basis of his criteria he works out something that serves a particular purpose or suits a particular occasion. The pictures he creates of it suddenly bring out again patterns and structures that had previously "got lost" in the dense jungle of reality.

Stafford Beer was a master at modeling. For his scientific models he created a language of images of his own to convey complex facts and mechanisms. The golden section, the mathematical formula for human aesthetics, is one of the "golden" rules in his model for Team SyntegrityŽ, the icosahedron, and it is equally so in his paintings.

When the aim was to say more than could be said in words, the man who made the tools for building effective organizations was not found wanting. When language won't work, the thing to do is to paint! The following link will take you to a PDF file containing 25 paintings by Stafford Beer, and below you can see three of his paintings of widely differing styles.

My Lady, Stafford Beer

Computer Volox, Stafford Beer

Oraeludium, Stafford Beer

25 paintings by Stafford Beer (PDF, 200kB)
  Right click for "Save as"

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