Ideas, musings and inspirations.

The Craftsman by Richard Sennett

Craftsmanship names an enduring, basic human impulse, the desire to do a job well for it’s own sake. Skills that mature and pride in one’s work lies as the heart of craftsmanship as the reward for skill and commitment.

“Craftsmanship” may suggest a way of life that waned with the advent of the industrial society – but this is misleading. Strategy, UX design, interactive design, content strategy, copywriting, software development, search, social media and marketing are all realms of modern craftspeople.

Craftwork

  • focuses on objects and impersonal practices
  • tempers obsession
  • turns the craftsman outward
  • integrates doing (how) and reflecting (why); makes and observes at the same time
  • embodies repetition, slow revisions, slow learning and cultivation of habit, working memory
  • connects the hand to the head
  • welcomes ambiguity
  • embraces curiosity, investigation, patience
  • applies the principle of application of minimum force and release
  • uses all available tools (e.g. Instruction through illustration, narrative and metaphors; or innovation through syllogism, intuitive leap, reframing, metaphors, integrative thinking)
  • fosters the interplay of practice, imagination, and possibility
  • sees resistance as opportunity for reframing, patience, and possible discovery
  • improves irregularly by taking detours
  • ability to localize, to question and to open up/to

A company dedicated to craftwork:

  • values play and experimentation
  • fosters transparency
  • provides mentorship
  • nurtures cooperation and open communications
  • encourages training and practice
  • exudes calm industry and purpose
  • celebrates excellence in craft and craftsmen and craftswomen
  • combines cross-domain knowledge
  • values metaphors
  • supports rituals of craftsmen and craftswomen
  • defines objective standards comprehensible to all

A company dedicated to craftwork can sustain itself when it:

  • actively pursues good clients and good work
  • articulates the value of good work
  • turns outwards towards professional community
  • actively illuminates meta-knowledge of the craft
  • routinely distills wisdom

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