the competitiveness of beauty in #organisationdesign

In a business environment one of the challenges of an organisation is its competitiveness. Organisations compete with each other on various levels like sourcing, hiring talented people and winning market and wallet share. The better the value for money compared to the competition, the better an organisation is positioned. So organisation look for increments in efficiency in their processes and in the effectiveness of their offerings to increase value for money.

In this area of competitiveness, where does beauty come in? Is beauty a nice to have, a luxury of the abundance, the hobby of a maverick leader or an excuse to ignore all basic business rules? That may be the case in the eyes of the shortsighted, it isn’t when you look at the business reality of beauty.

Beauty  touches the hearts of people, it goes further than a rational trade-off of money and value. Beauty distorts the value-money logic. Beauty makes greedy and initiates spending sprees beyond the reasonable (Think art, cars, fashion, housing). Or in the context of organisations, people who experience beauty contribute in ways that no money can buy. And even when the functionality of something beautiful has become obsolete, it keeps its value. Beauty is not about value for money, it is about value beyond money with a more than nice monetary dimension. That seems to me a good competitive position to be in.

Beauty of artefacts has another characteristic: it is by its nature scarce (and thus adding to its economic value). Beauty is not the norm, it is exclusive, it stands out and it does so for a reason. It takes a keen eye, a sharp mind, a deep conviction, a trust in your gut and a lot of transpiration and failure to achieve it. And the success rate can not be predicted or guaranteed. And just because it takes courage (or madness), any organisation striving for and realising beauty can remain assured that the large majority of the competition will not even try to compete in the domain of large returns and settle for just value for money.  You must be mad not to want that kind of competitive advantage by adding beauty to your organisation.

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The madness of Chambord generating 850.000 visitors a year.

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