Aesthetic Intelligence

Aesthetic Intelligence is one of the many intelligences we own, the one that helps us to negotiate with reality via our senses.

Since Howard Gardner researches, we know that our cognitive heritage is complex, rich, multiple. We use our senses to understand what happened and to preview what will happen in an aesthetic way, which isn’t necessaraly the clever or right or abstract way. But if we deliberately decide not to use such a peculiar understanding and previewing, we certainly behave the stupid way.

Making is connecting. Making business is building and feeding relationships. Aesthetic Intelligence is a business tool that enables our innate capability to explore not yet revealed links between wellknown phenomena, and to trasform these new links in relevant business opportunities. Aesthetic Intelligence works on details, traces, ineffable and powerful forces. But not all business is the same. Aesthetic Intelligence only works where standards are less iportant than creativity and exploration is more important than application. To fully exploit Aesthetic Intelligence one need to bisociate rather than associate. As Arthur Koestler teched us, bisociation is the priciple of creativity; as Carlo Ginzburg highlighted, to bring different things together is the secret weapon of Sherlock Holmes, Giovanni Morelli and Sigmund Freud.

Aesthetic Intelligence is good for business because it helps us to recognize new relationships and to leverege on them to multiply our choices.

Division of labor splits, Aesthetic Intelligence connects. Modern Organizations are based on the Scientific Management paradigm, which is itself based on the holy principle of the division of labor. Such an approach favors the development of vertical competences and isolated disciplines. This culture is still effective in many businesses, but it is completely useless when a company needs to get value from human distinctiveness. When market behaviours become unpredictibles, people, not machines, become the most relevant asset of a company. Where complexity reigns, transversality, not verticality, helps to achieve challenging results. Aesthetic Intelligence helps people to reshape their capabilities and fosters the ability to connect, negotiate, value differences, cross boundaries and build collective value upon multiplicity.

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