Human Culture - Melanie and Me Swimming 1978-9 by Michael Andrews 1928-1995

Human culture

In Company culture by Kieron FallerLeave a Comment

This morning my wife and I took some time to go to see All Too Human, the exhibition at Tate Britain in London. As Ricardo Semler says in his TED Talk from 2014, “We’ve all learned how to go on Sunday night to email and work from home. But very few of us have learned how to go to the movies on Monday afternoon.” Well, we’ve learned how to go to an art exhibition at 10am on a Friday.

All Too Human includes work from Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, David Bomberg (whose amazing work was a new discovery for us), and others. The piece which stopped us dead in our tracks though was Melanie and Me Swimming by Michael Andrews (pictured above). It’s ethereal and otherworldly but also real and everyday.

The contrast between looking up close at works like Cecily Brown’s Teenage Wildlife¬†or David Bomberg’s Toledo from the Alcazar and stepping back and looking at the whole piece from a couple of metres away reminded me of our work at Workio (although everything seems to these days).

It made me think of company culture being a collection of individuals working together in teams, sometimes in different locations, and each of those individuals and their smaller interactions acting as brushstrokes in the bigger picture of company culture, which can only be seen clearly from a distance, which Workio provides for managers and executives.

It also reminded me that culture, whether in companies or in families or communities, is profoundly human. Progressive companies are feeling this and understanding it more and more, but there is still so much work to do to bring this home to all companies across the broader economy. A starting point would be for all managers and executives to get down to Tate Britain to get in touch with humanity in its rawest form while you still can.

All Too Human runs until 27th August 2018 at Tate Britain, London

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