Wouldn’t it be great if we humans could program our minds to dream of practical things? My answer – hell no! Although I believe many wish they could. In this information-driven world, we can learn so much today that we had no concept of yesterday. This fact is multiplied when we welcome time for our imaginations. So many of us get stuck in the routine commonality of what they do, their reality, they forget to nourish their most valuable asset their Imaginations. Things which are practical are always known, things which are revolutionary usually have no history to help us decide the merits of taking action. So those who stifle their imaginations or live with tunnel vision, will believe that sticking with what they know is a better gamble.
“In leadership, the void of imagination is cancer to the business. The future is unknown unless of course, you are the gypsy with the crystal ball. For the rest of us, our crystal ball must be our imagination.”
Imaginations are the keys to finding something new, never get so consumed by the need to know everything’s outcome, before you welcome the time for your own imaginations input. When imaginations are held prisoner by our need for absolutes, or quickly dismiss things which are unclear we will find ourselves in the dungeon of status quo wondering why things don’t get better.
We must allow our imagination time to think about and digest what could be or what should be.
Next time you meet with peers and the conversation is consumed with talk about what it is, lead the conversation to what it could be, what should it be, or even more provocative talk about what happens without the familiarity of what it is, that commonality which ties the group together in the first place.
I was thinking of some of the interesting missed opportunities and how imaginations could create new opportunities. Here are some things I can imagine – imagine along with me.
Should cable providers be talking about a better cable service or talking about how the social media industry could be the future of video content delivery? Then collaborate their imaginations allowing them to visualize how they live in a world without cable. Or will they wait for Facebook to broadcast the Super Bowl? Allowing fans the ability to communicate online while they watch on their 90″ flat screen using airplay. Can you imagine the advertising dynamic? What can the cable industry imagine? Or will the cable industry say we didn’t see that coming? Will they get UBERED?
Should the print/copy industry be talking about a better printer, or fancy new ink in a dying industry or collaborating their imaginations with those who provide a means to read documents which are void of print? After all, don’t most of us read and distribute more documents on our phones than our printers or copiers? Does this give Samsung an advantage? Samsung sells why more phones then Printers. Can print providers imagine what could be or will they stay stuck in what is? Do they understand the danger of ignoring the word currently and its definition? Everyone knows sooner or later everything ends.
What if the taxi industry was not so stubborn to their way of business, and actually collaborated their imagination with technology companies, what if they used their imagination and welcomed the imagination from those they were confused by. The very first time a cab driver used his phone to navigate to the customer’s distention and then collect payment on his phone using Square, the Uber concept was staring them in the face. So what if they used their imagination, what if they collaborated their imagination with those technologies which gave them directions and help collect their money.
The sad thing is this without collaborating Imaginations more and more industries will get UBERED.
What if Barnes & Noble became a destination for all those home office professionals? Barnes & Noble has fantastic facilities and they proudly serve Starbucks. The square footage in Barnes & Nobel is ten times that of a standalone Starbucks. Over the last few months, as I transition careers, I have worked from many Starbucks across the country. They are always packed many business people call them their office. So what if every town had a Mega Starbucks in partnership with Barnes & Noble. They would have large conference rooms, play areas for Kids, delivery points for Amazon goods. Barns & Noble only sees themselves selling books. If they used their imaginations they would see themselves as the home office destination king which proudly serves Starbucks. After all working from the home model is only gaining in popularity. The question is, can Barnes & Noble imagine a life without dependency on books? Do they continue to fight or collaborate with amazon?
“Those who understand and embrace things which are different and collaborate imaginations will be the disruptors of their industry while those in the borders sleep away in their comfort zone of commonality”
The greatest asset we have is our imagination and when we collaborate with the imaginations of others we will discover the gift of something different, the gift of creating something new.