I believe it's impossible to be creative without a problem. We are all at our creative best when we're solving problems.
A real problem, that is.
You see, many things we call problems really aren't. Let's examine this stuff, problems.
When you solve a problem what's the language you usually use? "I found a solution to my problem." Or ... "I created a solution."
If you found a solution, did you really have a problem? I mean, the answer already existed. You did find it, after all.
Here's how this so-called problem-solving soap opera might play out, for example:
"We have to do a holiday promotion to move some merchandise," someone in retail marketing might say. "We have a problem!"
"What did we do last year?" asks the white knight in wing tips.
"Yeah, you're right," admits the alarmist, then adds, "But we'll do it totally differently this year; we'll take new photos, change the typeface—totally different."
This team of bozos didn't have a real problem. They had a misplaced answer to a question they had asked many times before. They knew the answer. It was in the known, so there was no creativity.
sometimes the drama plays out like this:
"We have to do a holiday promotion. I wasn't here last year. What did you do?"
No, this time it's not in the problem solver's known. It's in someone else's known. But the answer is still found. Therefore it's not a real problem.
Ifyou can't find a solution, if the solution does not already exist, then you have a real problem and you have no choice but to be creative.
That drama sounds like this:
"We didn't have this holiday promotion last year. It's a new holiday. No company has ever done this promotion. I wonder what we could do."
BAM! The wonder gland kicks in. Now you have a real problem. Now you are in the creative realm. Not finding but creating.
A Problem Is a Must
j The Lobotomy Files
If an organization is to move forward and compete effectively today, it must have people with the right attitude. The fast-paced thinking methods of The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy got the mental juices flowing and stimulated the mighty power of innovation and creativity to help shape dramatic change at The Amica Companies. This is of particular importance to us given the fiercely competitive property/casualty and life insurance marketplaces in which we operate today.
The fundamentals our management team across the country learned from The Do-It-Yourself Lobotomy's interactive and fun-filled thinking approaches, along with strong support and encouragement from our senior executives, has truly energized our organization. Our talented team members are now liberated and exercising the muscles of their minds. Clearly, we now have an organization that has become much more open-minded to opportunity and better equipped to innovate its way to even greater success.
Tom Taylor, President & CEO The Amica Companies Lobotomized, along with 180 colleagues, 2000
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