Monday, August 18, 2008

Imagination & Creativity at Work

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.” --- Albert Einstein

In his book, Benjamin Franklin, An American Life, Walter Isaacson reveals the mind of one of America’s most controversial figures. Ben Franklin is described as America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist. It is obvious to see throughout the book that Franklin had a great (sometimes wild) imagination. His response to problems and obstacles was not one of despair but of determination and hope for a solution.

Just as in Franklin’s day, we too face obstacles that threaten to stifle the progress of our businesses. Thankfully, most of what we encounter is not new to the modern world and most solutions exist for us to simply apply to the situation. Sadly, many businesses are crippled because of a lack of energy or imagination to apply even the simplest of fixes.

“The real source of wealth and capital in this new era is not material things.. it is the human mind, the human spirit, the human imagination, and our faith in the future.’ --- Steve Forbes

Some theorist believe that as time marches on, our culture becomes more complacent and content with modern comforts that we no longer have the hunger or drive to use our creativity muscles. Our imagination station becomes Jell-o and we settle for “it is what it is.”

In order to progress in business, we have to resort back to those juices that once flowed in the playground as kids. Like in the movie Big, with Tom Hanks, we need to ask the question “why?” and state “I don’t get it,” until we do get it.

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” --- Mark Twain

Tom Hanks could get away with the kid’s stuff because his character in the movie, Josh Baskin was a kid, just in an adult body. You have to be careful so that your spouse or co-workers don’t put you in a special padded cell. However, you can still be a kid within your imagination. It is there that your creative ideas are hiding and waiting to be released.

“The only limit to your impact is your imagination and commitment.” --- Anthony Robbins

Ben Franklin didn’t have any more advantages than me and you. In fact, we have more than he ever had. He lived to be 84 years old, which is rare for his time period. Many “experts” contribute his longevity to his constant use of his mind. (Plus he had to walk greater distances than we do!) Franklin was always questioning, always creating, and always wondering. We need to do the same.

“Live out of your imagination, not your history.” --- Stephen Covey

If you are stuck-in-a-rut today with business problems coming out the wazoo, then try this: Escape to a place where your imagination can go wild. If you need to get quiet, then go to a park or library. If you need excitement, go to a Chuck E. Cheese. Just get to where you don’t focus on the problems, but you allow your mind to imagine. Write on the sidewalk with chalk with your kids or roll in the lawn with the dog. Weird, I know, but it works. Your mind begins to think goofy things that lead to creative things, which lead to solutions. Imagine that!

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.” --- Pablo Picasso


Anonymous said...

Hello, I just wanted to thank you for this inspirational posting. It truly made me re-think my role in our corporation and other ways in which we can improve morale & productivity.

I will keep visiting! Thank you again!


Anonymous said...

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