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Management Leasons from Photography

Photography is NOT synonymous to snapshooting (random clicks without a defined thought). ‘Management’ is as ‘generic’ a skill as clicking using a camera. But then the difference emerges when some key traits are exhibited in the effort.

A goal achieved or a perfect photo clicked, motivates and pushes us to review it in detail and then try repeating it.

I have been into photography and have been trying to review what is in it for me to learn. Some of those learnings are listed below for benefit of all:

1. Knowing center of interest- When setting out, a photographer is able to find its center of interest – what is it?; why is it so? In management this is defining objective and setting goal(s). Its not being futuristic. Its well within the scope of execution. It means finding relevant frame or pattern (photography) and objective (management) amidst chaos (photography) and piles of information (management).

2. Composition- Its about what to include? Its also about what to eliminate? A good composition gives balance to the picture but shows relation of subject to objects. When in management learning to priortize and selecting a team that works harmoniously for the goal.

3. Trends, patterns, lines, shapes- All these help framing and adding meaning to a picture. In management its about having diversity but which exhibits cohesiveness and a purpose. For instance good photographers avoid mixing circles with squares in their pictures. They actually add to chaos and weaken the composition.

4. Timing- I learnt about ‘relaxed attentiveness’ in photography. You are not getting into details but still paying attention to all details. This helps a photographer to pre-empt a moment and hence master the timing. If its not, the same event rarely repeats.

In management we need to know that there is randomness despite all efforts, there are events that are beyond our control. Timing is what makes the difference to achievement of a goal.

5. Chance- In photography every great click is by ‘Chance’. Despite all efforts and adherence to rules, its finally a probability. Similarly we should continue to strive and success is still a matter of chance.

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