Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Creativity, opportunity and knowing what you want

The question for the day is this: if you have a clear sense of direction and a destination in mind, would you ever run out of ideas how to get there? The challenge is not to innovate for the sake of innovating - if you have a perfectly good way to get where you are going, it would be hard to argue that you should change. Creativity is not primarily about avoiding boredom: it's about exploring. And you can't explore until you pick a direction.

A direction alone will allow for creativity. Human nature is such that we seldom have a direction without also having a real or imagined destination - a place to go or a thing to achieve that, however unknown in its specifics, will be known to us by particular characteristics or benefits. As we move in our chosen direction toward our imagined destination, we naturally use all our resources to find the steps that will take us where we want to go.

Can you imagine a time when you had a strong sense of direction and a goal in mind when you got stuck? It's possible that innovators forge ahead because they know where "ahead" is, not because they have inherently more or different ideas about how to get there.

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