Inter-disciplinary (and other cross-boundary) thinking is quite fundamental to innovation. My belief in this stems largely from the work of Werner Heisenberg, who observed that ‘interesting things happen where differences meet’; and of Fritjof Capra, who describes how biological systems change in response to diversity.
Amidst all the Jubylmpic media hype, I caught a TV programme recounting how racing car engineers were using modern technology to analyse and improve athletes’ performance. Only that day, graduate enterprise director Steve Moore had informed me that his university’s school of sports and performance included dance and music. My curiosity was piqued.
At Contented’s workshop in London, Alex Beech (a marketing professional and dancer at tonight’s Olympic opening ceremony) mentioned some work that had been done taking ballet into an engineering company to choreograph the production line, saving the company thousands of pounds. The meeting resolved to invest in exploring this with her. So today I finally got around to looking up the theme and I see online that a Katrina Wisdom at the US’ Duke University has done some interesting research into the relationship between these disciplines. Indeed, a websearch quickly reveals that quite a lot of people have had similar thoughts. I’ve posted some weblinks below – please post any you of your own that you’ve found particularly interesting.
I wonder whether the most immediate business opportunity is to work with engineering companies to use balletic concepts to improve the bottom line, rather than using engineering concepts to improve athletes’ bottoms.
Academic paper: http://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1119&context=mate_fac&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.co.uk%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3Dengineering%2520and%2520ballet%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D4%26ved%3D0CGAQFjAD%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fdigitalcommons.calpoly.edu%252Fcgi%252Fviewcontent.cgi%253Farticle%253D1119%2526context%253Dmate_fac%26ei%3Ds3USUMbbOKXT0QX4uoDgAg%26usg%3DAFQjCNHW0z9NJlIIvnjz-ONvNiA3XdBFig#search=%22engineering%20ballet%22