Winners and Losers - Spontaneity Shop

Winners and Losers


6 November 2020
Alex MacLaren

If all goes normally, tomorrow’s poll in the US will end up with a winner (and a loser). We are fascinated by stories of victory and defeat because our working lives are full of small triumphs and disasters, with competitors to beat and team-mates to celebrate with.

This is Velazquez’ great depiction of the Surrender at Breda. In the centre of the crowd you can see the Dutch leader Justin of Nassau yielding up the keys of the city to the Genoese commander of the Spanish forces, Ambrosio Spinola. The 17thC wars in the Netherlands were notoriously harsh, so this image has a job to do, and it does it well – Spinola is the image of magnanimity, still in his armour but sweeping off his hat to comfort his adversary at the moment Nassau acknowledges that he is beaten. What do you think?

We live in stories, which is why ‘losers’ consent’ matters so much. It’s worth noting tomorrow not just who wins, but how they win.

If you’re interested in exploring how questions like this affect our narratives at work, come on one of our virtual Open Courses, or drop me a line if you want to discuss the in-house virtual sessions we run on Impact and Story.

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