Now this song came on the radio the other day and became the stimulus for this blog, which is all about coming up with ideas – or solutions – to enhance your business.
This is because if I was to go and talk to a class of six-year-olds and ask the question: “Who is good at coming up with ideas?”, I’m pretty sure that at least 90 per cent of them would raise their hands.
However, if asked the same question to a room full of adults who had been working for several years or more, then I would expect very few to raise their hand.
This is bewildering as we should, in theory at least, gain more not less confidence as we age.
The imagination of children never ceases to amaze me; however, this ability seems to disappear as we grow up. And this tends to hold many of us back in the workplace. Why is this?
Well, I believe one reason is that we feel the need to conform and act like a grown-up – even if we don’t always want to act in a childlike manner, especially in the workplace.
This is only natural, and very wise in many scenarios, but this can also hold us back in our train of creative thought which is vital for developing ideas and fresh thinking.
Restricted by knowledge
Another reason is that our learning is based a lot around knowledge and experiences. We learn facts and have processes to follow. We have certain habits and conformities regarding the way we do things. This leads to knowledge overpowering imagination.
However, as Albert Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Therefore, we need to encourage and apply more imagination in our workplaces. This is because knowledge also leads us to determine if something is logical or not.
However, this can prevent us from unleashing that next big or small idea, simply because ideas often don’t seem logical at first and are dismissed before they even get a chance to get off the ground.
Which means we need to keep our minds more open and not allow them to be closed by what we know and understand.
Past experiences can also create barriers. I’m sure that you have heard people say: “It didn’t work last time”. Well, the sheer nature of creativity means that not every idea works. People have to be patient.
Through creativity, you will be generating a new idea so it may not always be possible to draw on past experiences to see if the idea has previously worked.
Besides, whether something worked or did not work in the past is not a prerequisite for success in the future. So, don’t rely solely on knowledge or experience.
Trust your instincts and use your imagination as it can prove to be a far more powerful source. Keep an open mind at all times.
And in order to help you to do all this, speak and think more like a child – without the barrier of knowledge.