I came across an ice sculpting display and saw the parallels to how it connected to my class lesson on visioning. The artists saw something beyond what was initially there and worked to make it tangible.

There was a lot of trial and error involved as the artists worked to sand, grind and shape their vision into reality. They started with a small-scale model of their design then used it to transform an 8x8x6 block of ice into a sculpture, just as others take a seed of an idea and morph it into something grand.

One of the sculptures was carved by a group of college art students. In talking with their professor I discovered that the point of this assignment was to learn how to create via subtraction. Instead of usual artistic methods where the material is added to the piece, ice sculpting involves removing pieces of ice to shape the blocks into a design. It occurred to me that removal of what exists is often overlooked as a strategy for visioning, but may be a more powerful alternative in some cases.

Think of the kind of artist you need to be when developing your vision. Maybe you can take a lesson from the ice sculptors and focus on subtraction to find a gem hiding within.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: