For many Americans, July is a time to appreciate our Founding Fathers and their world-changing creativity.
Obviously, I’m talking about watching Hamilton on Disney+.
This might sound weird, but the thing that stuck out the most to me is what a BAD IDEA it is. Translating a history book to Broadway through hip-hop should not work, and yet, here we are, living in Lin Manuel Miranda’s world.
I’ve had a similar thought about Pixar movies – I seriously wonder if some of their concepts were born from “What’s the absolute WORST IDEA we can think of?” (A rat in the kitchen? Trying to understand a teenager’s emotions? An elderly couple who can’t have children where one spouse dies without accomplishing their dream?) It’s like the more they corner themselves with a difficult concept, the more they’re forced to rise to meet the creative challenge – “Necessity is the mother of invention.”
This is especially important to think about at this time in history. As we continue to navigate a global pandemic and its economic impact, one thing is certain: business has changed, and it may never be the same again. How do we pivot and implement new ideas to take our business forward?
You may feel overwhelmed, but look around: what opportunities do you see? It could be in the way you’ve shifted your operation in the past few months, or in the adjustments required to work from home. Even on a personal level, pay attention to the innovative ways that you’ve managed home life, fitness, and nutrition, or online engagement – what do you see evolving around you?
At BOS Media, we believe that creativity is an infinite resource, where even the worst idea can end up opening new worlds. Our hope is that this ends up being a transformative time, as you dream big and experiment with imaginative ways to solve problems. We’d love to join you in that pursuit – please let us know if there’s anything we can do to help as you begin thinking and strategizing, and eventually as you take action to make it a reality.
In the meantime, the big question is: WHAT’S YOUR WORST IDEA? Honestly, we’d love to hear it – it really could be the gateway to your most creative work.
I parked today at the beach. If you knew me, one thing I don’t carry around is loose change. This has been my problem for years. I need to park, but I don’t have change. I even came up with a simple solution of carrying rolls of quarters in my glove department of my car, but once it ran out…who’s got time to re-fill it? Not me. So, I keep running into the same problem…no change – no parking. I envision that someday, one beautiful day, I will be able to park at a meter and not have to bend over with my iphone flashlight to look underneath my seat for a couple of loose quarters.
That day was today. I went to my favorite spot this morning for a run. I boldly parked in front of the meter, pulled out my iphone, clicked on my parking meter app, punched in my meter number, chose my minutes and off I went. In fact, when the time was about to run out, my app gave me a quick alert and asked me if I wanted to add more time. I was already near my car so I said to my phone, “no, but thank you and I love you.” Just kidding, I didn’t say that out loud, that was just my inside voice.
The truth is that this parking meter solution started with Imagination (ability to envision things that don’t exist) moved on to Innovation (applying creativity to come up with a unique solution) and ended with Entrepreneurship (applying innovation to bring ideas to life to the rest of the world). Tina Seelig, the executive director of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, talks about how this is the “Inventure Cycle”: capturing the attitudes and actions necessary to foster and bring breakthrough ideas to the world. Simply put, we are just one idea away. But we need to turn that idea into action. And while actively pursuing, we must have persistence and inspire others along the way. That’s entrepreneurship. It doesn’t matter where we work or what we do, if we possess the character of persistence and we are able to inspire others, we are entrepreneurs.
So the puzzle and quilt thing…there are two kinds of people: one who builds puzzles and the one who makes quilts. The one who builds the puzzles looks at the box cover to see exactly what their life is supposed to look like and they put the pieces together to achieve it. But, what if there’s a piece missing? They stand paralyzed and frustrated, not being able to complete the puzzle. Then there are the ones who make quilts. They take all things at their disposal and put them together to create solutions to their problems. They live with imagination, apply creativity and innovation to solve problems. Then they put their innovation into action, and with persistence, they inspire the city of Newport Beach to put their devices on every parking meter which then inspires me to download the app on my iphone so that I can go running without loose change.
Let’s make quilts together, it’ll be fun!