Defect or Effect, That Is the Question

Posted by jlubans on June 08, 2022

Caption: Mosaic Tile by Gaudi.

My attorney cousin related to me her participating in a discussion while she was touring a new corporate property in Barcelona.
The tour group consisted of the builders and architects and, my cousin, representing the corporate client.
She noticed a wall with several holes and asked why this was not finished, you now, like patched, sanded, smoothed and painted over to blend with the rest of the wall?
The group erupted (in Spanish) into a debate about whether these holes were indeed defects or, more likely, desirable and fitting effects, appropriate to the design of the space.
Obviously, the client’s wishes take priority, but the aesthetes in the group felt obligated to protest that these holes were effects as in “something designed to produce a distinctive or desired impression.”
Well, OK. Barcelona is the home of many iconoclastic and magnificent works by Gaudi (depicted tile). And, let’s not forget Salvador Dali’s limp watches! Nor, Picasso and his incoherent, at times, outpourings.
And, if we want to get any more quixotic, there’s my hero the Don, and his sidekick, Pancho Sanza who may still be wandering around Andalusia battling windmills.
So, I get the impulse.
In my career, I’ve worked in places where arguments over quotidian points would consume weeks.
Like a dog chasing its tail, there was no sense of urgency – other than for catching the tail.
Instead of resolution, there was yet another argument, yet another reason for more exploration and discussion.
What’s the leader’s role?
Surely, there is one. Or, is it to await a group’s decision, however interminable the wait?
No, a leader’s role is to make things urgent.
There is a time to call a halt and declare:
“Basta! Vote!
Hands up for defect. Hands up for effect.
If you do not vote, I will make the decision.”
I do not know the outcome of the Barcelona imbroglio but am hopeful the wall got painted.


Copyright. John Lubans. 2022.
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