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Why our imagination will save us

Inspiration

“The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity” – Jim Hightower, American syndicated columnist, progressive political activist, and author

We are all plagued under a mind-set of comfortableness and not rocking the boat. With most of us being happy with fitting in, we hide our ability to create novel ideas with high impact around us. The way we live, work, produce and consume is changing. We are currently in the heart of the information economy. Overtime, as technology evolves the creative economy is becoming more critical as the next generation needs cognitive flexibility and thinking for the future. This is where imagination becomes king. The creator, makers and innovators will inherit the earth!

Conformity to creativity

For far too long there has been a misconception around creativity. You are normally seen as creative or not. Over time this has pigeon hold people in boxes as someone who is creative or a thinker. Why can’t we be both?

Sadly, many people have been lied too or have not been given the opportunity to unleash their creative side. This statement has been supported by Adobe study with 75% of the population not believing that they are creative.

This statement shows that there is a fundamental gap that needs to be filled to ensure that the 75% can start to think like the 25%. The creative economy is emerging and becoming fundamental as technology takes over many traditional roles. Often fear of standing out or being ridiculed by others holds people back from sharing that next novel idea. Our inner voices stop us putting, our thoughts into action.

“61% of us have to abandon our ideas. not because they are bad ideas but as a result of society forcing us to conform” – Nilofer Merchant, Author and Thinkers50 award winner

Common dogmas around conformity hold us back:

  • “Innovation is not my role”
  • “Who would really think that’s a good idea”

But wait there is good news! Everyone is creative you just need to exercise your imagination. Just like building a muscle group, it may take time and the right approach. You just need to find that creative skill and exercise it over time.

The skill of creativity is within all of us whether you’re an HR professional looking for new ways to improve culture, Accountant trying to find new ways to save your department money or a Sales Manager seeking a better way to connect with customers.

Imagination as a core skill

The world is changing it is no longer enough to come into a job and do it well to receive a 3% rise in your salary every year. Success in the past was to be told what to do and do it. Now, there is a shift in the market that involves your ability to create ideas that in turn create value for the business that you are a part of. The days of being a cog in a wheel and doing what others are telling you to do is over.

Value and success will come to those that embrace creativity. Whether, you use creativity to solve problems in your own life, creating opportunities within your departments or to combat change in your business. This change is coming quicker than you think! The funny thing is that we are all creative, we are born with the ability to use our imagination to thrive. Everyone is blessed with this gift.

Going back to Jim’s philosophy from the start of this post. The ability for more people in the world to stand up to foster innovative ideas that will solve some of the futures most complex challenges takes vision, clarity and most importantly creativity.

How will you save us?


Guest contributor Daniel Tuitt writes, talks, lives and inspires all things creative, business design and co-innovation.

Daniel Tuitt