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The pitfalls of craftsmanship

There’s an nteresting – and somewhat depressing – article in the Guardian by Richard Sennett: Out with the old. It casts another light on the problem Douglas Rushkoff identified, mentioned in my recent post.

The consultant embodies the new ideal: flitting from company to company, getting a quick fix on problems, recommending changes, then departing, leaving the consequences for others to sort out, the consultant’s skill is not based on doing one thing well, in one place, with sustained relations with other people.

The person who, by contrast, has the work ethic of a craftsman will dig into problems, acting on the impulse to get something right; this is a psychological strength, but sends a negative social signal – the stubbornness and obsession that fuels craftsmanship slows you down. The craftsman is likely to seem dysfunctional in a culture of innovation and change.

My outtake: something about recognising the value of craftsmanship and seeing a difference between the profoundly new and the merely novel.

Hat tip to Mark Lloyd.