Yesterday i shared a context around ‘Choreography of Learning’, and today i will unpack the framework that i shared at the end: to recap, we explored how there has been a general trend from ‘utility’ to ‘experience’, but that the experience is created through careful, and coherent, design. It’s that process that we will look at more closely here, although i should stress that this is not ‘the’ model, but rather ‘a’ model: it is a lens through which to look at Choreography, and to actively consider what we can do to connect up the pieces.
In this frame i look at four aspects: Components, Quality, Coherence, and Connectedness.
A foundation is Components, to consider the elements that we can use to choreograph experience: here we need to understand those elements that add utility, and those which contribute towards the beauty. I use ‘beauty’ deliberately, because there is something of the mystical about performance. It’s not an opposite of utility, but rather an add on, or a connection. For example, wrapping paper adds utility (in protecting a gift, and in keeping it secret), but the right wrapping paper adds beauty and experience. But it’s the detail that counts: wrap a present in newspaper, but done beautifully, and with stencilled layers added and you have exceeded the beauty of expensive paper. Cost does not always mean better.
Quality is about the care we give: typically people identify authenticity as central here. Which leaves us with the challenge of how you scale authenticity. If, indeed, you can. I suspect that the answer is to ensure our actions are imbued with authentic intent. So acting with kindness and humility can indeed scale.
Coherence is about the piece i mentioned yesterday: how does the central narrative underpin the experience. It’s no use having perfect pieces that are connected in a high quality way, if they are disconnected from the central narrative. The whole needs to be relevantly unified. It needs a clear narrative thread. Partly this may be found by understanding if the coherence of the experience sits through conformity within a known way of thinking, or through opposition to it. Either can grant a type of power, but it’s within our active decision to consider which we will use.
Finally: Connectedness is about the ways the learning leverages into the broader context, and the ongoing nature of performance. This is really central to understanding the evolution of modern learning: learning as performance, not learning as exception.
If you have been following this stream of work over the last two weeks, you will have seen me reworking some ideas in two areas; notions of Learning – Rehearsal – Performance, and notions of the Choreography of experience. These are not yet a unified approach, but i hope you can see that they weave through each other: choreography ensures we flit between the three spaces, and the spaces themselves need to be choreographed. Indeed, both individual behaviour, and leadership support, are all elements of choreography.
I should end by going back to my inspiration around this: a beautiful dance is an act of performance, and authentic action, but it comes about through careful choreography, dedication, commitment, and hard work. My favourite seat at the ballet is the one that is far enough back to provide an overview, but close enough to hear the feet hitting the ground.