A Masters In Science AND Art
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in business.
I’m pretty lucky.
I get to watch leaders and businesses at work. I’ve studied how they work and why they don’t.
Many leaders’ biggest mistake is not exploiting the science AND the art of business. Both are essential to make businesses work fully.
1. The science is the ‘how’ and ‘why’ the operation works
2. The art is how we make the customers feel and want to buy, and the workforce want to be there
They’re two parts of a critical whole — the Yin and Yang in perfect harmony.
Leaders tend to be either (primarily) scientists or artists. Very few can span the two. ‘Great’ leaders are one or the other, but with a difference — they know that winning requires both.
Not-so-great leaders deny the importance of the one they’re not skilled in. This is a massive issue and easy to spot.
The Pure Science Major:
- Major emphasis on technical features
- The data and the specifications — wrapped up in technical terms, acronyms and heavy on the jargon
- Far less attention to an emotional engagement with the customer
- No real investment in brand, style, language — look or feel
- No compelling story
- Very little to distinguish the business from others
The Pure Art Major:
- Ethereal jargon
- Next to impossible to get to the utility
- Incomprehensible value proposition
- Style over function
- You can’t read the type
Success requires the balance of both. Think of a business you admire.
- You can quickly see what they do/what they have
- They’ve given you a clear path to the value
- You can quickly appreciate their distinctive qualities
- They explain why their product will suit YOU specifically
- They will make you feel secure in using their product
- They’re happy to be compared with their peers and freely show how they compare
- They’ve developed a brand that gets to you before you reach them
- They have a story — a narrative that’s running inside you
- The story and their interactions with you build over time
- Closer contact inspires and reinforces what you believe about them
- You may recommend them, and you will trust them above others
- You feel good about how it feels, looks and sounds. It’s an art.
Behind all the above -
- There’s an operation that designs, makes and supports what you’ve bought
- There are offices, manufacturing plants, partners, suppliers and procedures that go into how and why it works the way it does
- This took years of experience, trial and testing, learning and shaping the result by many people working to a pattern. It’s a science.
To win, the business has to become masters of art AND science.