The enigmatic nature of creativity and success
The enigmatic nature of an auteur's contribution
If we are to assume that there is a correspondence - between a director as the auteur of a movie and an initiator or organiser of an e-business venture - we ought to take a closer look at the way in which a film director works. We need to know exactly what are the similarities and what are the differences.
Firstly, it isn't obvious that the role of a film director is that of a creative auteur. Film directors are not creators of tangible work, such as a pieces of text or a sheets of music: they are adapters, arrangers and interpreters of the creative works of others. This makes their type of creativity and innovation more subtle and less easy to identify.
The most obvious parallel is with the role of the conductor of an orchestra. Concerts are not judged by the musical composition, or, by the playing skills of the individual musicians. A concert is judged according to the perceived skill of the conductor in bringing out some enigmatic quality that differentiates one rendition of a musical piece from another.
This interpretation of creative works can be seen in other kinds of performing arts. It is common to talk about a particular actor's portrayal of a Shakespearian character, or, the interpretation of a classical ballet by a particular dancer. Even the compositions of Lennon and McCartney have had better interpretations of their musical compositions than those performed by the Beatles.
Such adaptations and interpretations are not so easily defined and described as the original creative work that the auteurs deal with. In a similar fashion, it is not easy to describe the way in which successful entrepreneurs use the innovations of digital technology to create successful e-business solutions. This problem of identifying the input of the auteur is even more difficult in collaborative environments, where the results depend upon the input of many others. How, for instance, do you untangle the mixed inputs of entrepreneurs, media creators and programmers when they collaborate together in an evolving e-business enterprise?
Ascertaining the contributions towards the success of a particular venture is even further complicated by the fact that success itself is difficult to discern. Success can be temporary, it can be no more than a transitional phase before competition or a new technological development snuffs it out. Successful techniques and strategies may not even be recognisable in the present; they may be drowned out by the noise of so many other attempts to succeed. This makes it probable that only in retrospect can we really know what are successes and what are failures.
On first thoughts, the enigmatic nature of the success of e-business auteurs, together with the difficulties inherent in recognising what causes success, would appear to make it impossible to define and emulate strategies for success? However, this really only applies to the tangible actions and decisions of auteurs; what we really need to find is the abstractions upon which the auteur's actions and decisions are based.
In other words, we need to discover the successful auteur's mind set, the paradigms that allow auteurs to succeed in spite of uncertainties and competition. We need to find the essence that gives rise to the distinctive influence that e-business auteurs can bring to a venture to raise the results of their contributions above that of others?