Thursday, 17 March 2016

Cut out middling, middle of the road thinking

Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven did not use the middling indications of loudness and softness much, especially within their solo piano music. The majority of their written indications were either unequivocally loud or unequivocally soft. 

This was probably due, at the very least in part, to the nature of the instruments they had to hand.

However, not using such middling indicators had some very significant effects:
  • It emphasised contrast.
  • It emphasised the transition or transformation from loudness to softness and vice versa.
  • It demanded a keen awareness and appreciation of context and environment: what is perceived as loud or soft in one place may not be the same in another place.
  • It demanded clarity of purpose: certainty about what mood or sentiment needed to be conveyed to an audience and what nature or style of loudness or softness was required to achieve it. 
Emphasising contrast, emphasising transition and transformation, demanding enhanced awareness and appreciation, and demanding clarity of purpose: all these are essential to effective problem solving and can be encouraged by cutting out or reducing middling, middle of the road, middle range thinking.

The next time you need to generate and develop creative, innovative and ground breaking ideas cut out middling middle of the road thinking.

Don't say, 'That is a bit like or similar to.' Ask, 'What is different about this? How does it contrast with what we have done before?'  

Don't say, 'That is okay.'  Ask, 'How can we amplify its effectiveness and attractiveness?'    

Don't say, 'That will do.' Ask, 'How can we significantly dampen and shrink its drawbacks and consequences?'

Don't say, 'I'm comfortable with that.' Ask, 'How can we challenge ourselves to make it even better?'

Don't say, 'That fits well enough.' Ask, 'How can we tailor this to our own and others' needs?'

Don't say, 'That is sort of going in the right general direction.' Ask, 'Where precisely are we going with this?' and, very importantly, 'What stimulating new directions is it opening up for us?'

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