By Way of Meaning

A great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart.  ~  Frank Lloyd Wright

 In our own cultural transformation work, we incorporate the wisdom of the great American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright was not only a master architect, he was also a master of turning ordinary space into meaningful place. He knew that creating his most masterful work was much more than just about technical skills, knowledge, and functionality. He knew that to create greatness required bringing emotion to work, instead of just going through the motions at work.To Wright, architecture was a way to use structure and place as powerful tools in communicating the power of beauty, magnificence of the human spirit, and importance of meaning in elevating the human experience-this was his masterpiece, his Cathedral Effect.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s work teaches us that our own Cathedral Effect, our own cultural masterpiece, is much more than just changing our opinions and rearranging our reasoning. It requires of us to go beyond the models and beyond the metrics, all the way to meaning. The models and metrics that analyze and shape our vibrant culture are no doubt vital to our design. They keep us on track and help us get to where we want to be but we have to ensure we don’t get lost in them. The journey of creating your Cathedral Effect is much more than pie charts and measuring sticks. It is rooted in something deep and essential that includes all the necessary skill, technique, and measurement but goes far beyond to a place that touches into the deep well of the human spirit.

Living in our cultural masterpiece, our Cathedral Effect, also means we have made room for emotion, for soul, for the whole human experience because as creators of a vibrant culture we know that our most profound and impactful work is brought forth using all that we are.   The act of taking a pile of rocks and turning it into a cultural cathedral is no easy task, which is precisely why we can’t afford to orphan parts of ourselves.  This path is not easy but it is worth the effort to see your life, organization, and community change around you to reach their highest living expression.  Your Cathedral Effect is a declaration that your work is an act of both head and heart, a journey to bring to life a creation which has never existed before, a declaration that the majority of our lives don’t have to be spent in quiet desperation. And this is a profound thing.  Just as a great architect is not made by way of a brain nearly so much as he is made by way of a cultivated, enriched heart, your Cathedral Effect is not made by way of models and metrics as it is made by way of your own personal meaning.

This is important work and we all only have so much time. Don’t let the image of your Cathedral Effect die within you without giving breath and life to this cultural vision that only you can bring into being.

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