Monday 23 January 2012

Creativity - Do we dare the impossible?

Today is a confusing period in our history dominated by big business, a stagnated growth, number crunching, profit tomorrow, and regular cost restructuring. I have mentioned before that we tend to lose sight of our long term strategies and goals even our mission statement.  It does appear to be a time that we are void of imagination in business, void of creativity and ideas. So therefore the key question must be - how do we develop them?  Creative people can rightly or wrongly be perceived as a bit whacky, different, idealists, gifted, perhaps psychologically flawed and unconventional.  Sherlock Holmes, for example, or Winston Churchill. They are so full of ideas, that is what makes them creative.

I believe creativity is individual and not communal. In my case, in order to have ideas, I would primarily need to initiate a vision, an interest, inner drive or a passion in what I do. Ideas will help me maintain this and advance forward.  In order to generate my ideas and to be inspired in my business, for example, I need a peace of mind, time to think, read, acquire knowledge and interact with people and things will capture my interest. When it comes to writing an article, an idea of a topic will spring to mind and then I write.  I find that in order to write it requires imagination and thought therefore I need to be disciplined, solidary and peaceful, this allows me to write down my ideas in an orderly fashion.

Ideas and creativity requires knowledge and knowledge is a function of your memory. And your memory needs to be constantly updated, checked, challenged, used and exercised in a meaningful way. In short, to THINK that’s the key, and ideas will catch you by surprise, in your sleep, after an event, going for a walk.

The problem lies herein: yes there are many ideas generated but only a few that get past the first hurdle. We are not confident enough to implement them. It requires a creative visionary with enough foresight to generate the great ones, and it requires a degree of boldness, and an element of fearlessness to implement them. A person who has found his inner belief or passion and is not the least concerned with the effect he or she is creating around them.   It also requires considerable energy, time, and discipline not to mention the cost where risk can come into play if more capital is needed to execute. With all the above – well it takes what some people may call individual genius or a group of them. Perhaps this is why so many potentially great ideas are seldom, and so many of the smaller ones if any are so often just thrown into the in tray and buried beneath the ashes together with everything else.

Let’s try to give an example:

John F, Kennedy in his moon speech in 1961, made a dramatic goal to put a first American on the moon by the end of the decade. Spectacular idea! It drew criticism as unrealistic, mad and a waste of money.  Well with engineering ingenuity together with enough boldness and resources, we know what happened next.

I am no JFK but here is a challenge for the future. Solar impulse makes first International solar powered flight from Switzerland to Brussels.  Wow! The idea is fantastic albeit may have been around for a while but to actually design and implement it!  How about we have our first commercially viable solar powered flight carrying passengers before the end of this decade?  Just think. No more fossil fuels, air and noise pollution, political environmentalists etc. Just to depend on the sun as a sole source of power. With enough ingenuity, talented industry engineers and experts, and financial resources, could we possibly dare the impossible?

Listen – come closer because I am going to say this very quietly. Here is the thing - there are some of us who are out there, more than we know. Those geniuses I am describing, the ones who are half awake… waiting perhaps for a tap on the shoulder… yes. You.  What are you going to do about it?

It is really such a pity in a time where we need them more than ever. Ideas, provided it is a good one, will generate change and bring us forward and I know change can so easily go against current convention but so what.  Am I conventional? I have no idea but I know there are many social norms in society I am not willing to abide by.

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