What do art, music, evolution, medicine, politics, management and football have in common? Answer: improvisation. George W. Bertram, who is Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at Freie Universität Berlin, has teamed up with music journalist Michael Rüsenberg, who deals primarily with jazz, to write a book that takes a fresh look at one of the most fundamental abilities of the human being. .
The goal of the article: polishing the bad image of improvisation. According to the authors, ability is seen as a product of poor preparation or lack of knowledge. How small this assessment is by the two is shown with a plethora of examples, such as that of an experienced cook who prepares a complex dish and suddenly realizes that an ingredient is missing. So she improvises with whatever ingredients are available to her. Thanks to her experience, she is still able to prepare a delicious meal. On the other hand, the result of a less experienced chef may be disappointing. Bertram and Rosenberg assert: Productive improvisation occurs when preparation, training, experience, or knowledge encounters the unexpected or uncertain. It is here that new rules or frameworks are created, and the result or product is often innovative.
A new way to aim
Improvisation is not a reckless stumble in an unspecified direction. Rather, according to the authors, it is a kind of loss of control that is not an emergency solution, but an opportunity to find new ways to achieve a specific goal.
The book explains in understandable language the opportunities for improvisation in very different areas of human life. However, it is questionable whether improvisation is really what he’s reluctant to see today as it is claimed in the book. The ability to respond quickly and innovatively to unexpected situations has long been viewed as desirable, particularly in business contexts such as management. In addition, the numerous quotes from important figures, which often do not seem to carry any deeper meaning, are disturbing.
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