I recently received a call from a long-time client who wanted to update me about a book he recently discovered on the subject of creativity. We discussed the content, format, author, exercises, examples, etc. at great length. Near the conclusion of our conversation he confessed that while he really enjoyed the essence of the book, he struggled to deal with the validity of the many examples offered by the author to substantiate his tips, tools, and strategies. He felt they weren’t realistic. In fact, he used the term “out there.” He didn’t feel the examples could ever be found in the “real world.”
I found it interesting that he readily admitted that every example had been documented. I therefore concluded that he was actually divulging his belief that his current culture didn’t support creative thinking, concepts, strategies, etc. After sharing my assumption, he conceded that to be true. He simply hadn’t recognized that reality until we discussed it.
His comments caused me to reminisce about similar comments I’ve heard from some attending our creativity seminars and keynote presentations. They truly want to believe in creative thinking and the tremendous benefits which can evolve … they just can’t see it occurring in their present situations. In reflection, I can see a connection between those making such comments and the culture in which they currently reside.
Why do we find it so difficult to attempt even a stutter-step outside the proverbial “box” we’ve heard so much about for decades? We know we should. We know, in many cases, we have to. We know for certain that if we continue to do as we’ve always done that we’ll continue to get what we’ve always gotten. Then why the obvious struggle by so many?
Is it fear? Is it an unfamiliar behavior? Is it culture resistance? Is it doubt? Is it lack of encouragement and leadership? Is it lack of know-how? Is it lack of training? None of these things should be a barrier for us if we’ll simply pause long enough to open our eyes and survey the current state of affairs in today’s business world. We see successful examples every day that creative thinking can and will change the way we work, live, compete, grow and survive in today’s chaotic world.
Therefore, to accommodate those who struggle to find such examples, we’re going to initiate a new blog feature in which we’ll spotlight a wide variety of existing examples of successful creative thinking taken from our current business environment.
For example, can you imagine chatting with a friend 20 years ago and discussing the possibility of some day:
- Taking a picture with your cell phone?
- Having a live voice inside your car giving you step by step directions to your destination?
- Downloading hit songs and full-length movies into your living room?
- Editing and printing your own photographs in the comfort of your home?
- Receiving TV signals from a satellite?
- Taking a room-by-room virtual tour on your computer of houses for sale all over the country?
- Browsing thousands of potential mates in minutes on your computer?
- Using DVDs, CDs, HDTV, iPods, Blackberries, Wii, Hybrids, eBay, Google, My Space, Facebook, etc.?
We would have laughed aloud at such futuristic fantasies 20 years ago, and yet we take them for granted today. All of those examples exist as a result of those who dared to think creatively while others laughed at the thought of doing so. What does tomorrow hold for us and who will lead us to future fantasies which will become our reality?
Watch our blog feature, Out-of-the-Box Thinking, for upcoming examples from today’s business world which will encourage you to join this inevitable revolution of creative thinking. If you have personal examples you’d like to share with us, please send them to: