Jan 13, 2007

Presence , Shibumi and Flow

I read about it on Prasad's blog, where he also talks about the U curve, simplicity achieved after passing complexity. Does this have parallels with Senge et al's Presence theory U too? Of becoming aware? I think so.

Then I found more about Shibumi at this site. It says:

Shibumi is understanding, rather than knowledge. Eloquent silence. In demeanor, it is modesty without pudency. In art, where the spirit of shibumi takes the form of sabi, it is elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. In philosophy, where shibumi emerges as wabi, it is spiritual tranquility that is not passive; it is being without the angst of becoming. And in the personality of a man, it is . . . how does one say it? Authority without domination? Something like that."

"Meaning, rather, that one must pass through knowledge and arrive at simplicity."

Is the concept of "effortless perfection" of Shibumi also what Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi means by Flow? It would seem so.

So I guess perfect work doesn't ever exist for people. One has to discover their own personal Shibumi or Flow. And hope it is not so fragile to be ephemeral.

My challenge for HR professionals is how are you helping your employees to discover their own shibumi? And in striving to do so, are you discovering your own Shibumi?

Update: Astha responds to Romuald's comment by saying:

a world where divides between the personal and professional self, and honestly divides of any kinds, are becoming passe-- how could we possible not include this deep intrinsic human quest as a valid organizational goal?