I don’t know about any of you, but I quite often walk around feeling slightly out of step with everyone else. It’s not an unpleasant experience, I am just aware that, when it comes to thinking processes, the way I view the world and the ideas that come to me are not your average thoughts. But how did this happen? Is innovative thinking learned, a result of circumstance or does it start at an early age?
Innovative thinking because of circumstance
Yes, part of the reason is probably down to being knocked way out of my comfort zone and normal life by the train crash however there is much more to it than just that. As those of you who read my bi-monthly newsletter will know (you can sign up here if you’re not already) my interests are wide and varied but tend toward the new, innovative and sometimes downright whacky. I am a great believer in ‘no idea is a bad idea’ as it all acts as fodder for my own thought processes and initiatives.
As a child my dream was to be an inventor. How I then ended up in Financial Services was down to practicalities and conditioning back then. However, before having to put my dreams aside I had visions of growing up, tinkering away in a wooden shed with gizmos, gadgets, soldering irons and bits of wire. Professor Branestawm was favourite reading material. I felt drawn to others who showed an innovative thinking approach whether they be eccentric or not.
Though the realities of life then asserted themselves and I abandoned my childlike dream I don’t think the way my brain was then hardwired ever did.
Innovative thinking means looking at the world from different angles
Even today (much to my family’s annoyance) I wander around spotting inconveniences, omissions, problems and then ponder on and ultimately share my far-fetched solutions with them. Time travel, transportation, space, black holes, dark matter, string theory, contortion and any other bizarre ideas all factor into my solutions. I let my imagination run riot until one of the family starts looking at me as if I ought to be committed.
I reckon one of the benefits of allowing my mind free rein like this with every day, trivial and mundane articles is it automatically kicks in when I am faced with a work challenge, problem or situation. I may secretly go into extremely weird thought paths however 99% of the time a flash of ‘inspiration’ or a glimmer of a plausible solution shows up which I can then pull logical and cohesive steps from to obtain the end outcome that was desired. My capacity for innovative thinking allows me to see a variety of alternative solutions.
How great would it be if everyone was given a bit of time to indulge this sort of creativity? I am pretty sure that an awful lot of stumbling blocks for companies would be overcome. In this fast changing and paced world wouldn’t it pay to be more ‘out there’ with our thinking? I’d love to run workshops doing just this – and perhaps I will. I do believe that innovative thinking can be learned if you trust your imagination.
As for my theoretical inventions I doubt any one of them is likely to come to anything, but you never know….