Imagination!

Jennifer Nietz - Director of Operations


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I grew up as an only child, so I spent many days having to entertain myself and actually didn’t have a problem doing so.  I could play for hours with toys and make believe for days.  My parents always said I had a very active imagination.  Now that I have kids of my own and young family members around, it has become evident that not everyone is born with an active imagination.  Some kids need a playmate or someone to play with them, and some don’t and can play for hours on their own.

So what is an active imagination?  Google this online and there are several resources where you can find some excellent information.  I came across a definition that I think sums it up best…

An active imagination is always stretching the limits of what is considered acceptable, by playing out what would happen in their minds, to see if it is really an acceptable limit, or if it’s just never been done before. Some people don’t like things to change, they like routine, they prefer the known to the unknown, but it is those with active imaginations that challenge the status quo all the time and bring innovation and new advancements and developments into our lives.

So what got me thinking of imagination?  Well, I read a recent post on LinkedIn contributed by Jay Walker titled: “Imagination: our greatest asset in business — and in life.”  I loved some of the points that he conveys about how important imagination is in business.

Mr. Walker writes:

“Ask a roomful of successful CEOs, “What is the most critical ingredient for business success?” and you’ll hear a lot of different answers. Many will say, “Leadership.” Others will say, “Passion.” Others will give answers ranging from “innovation” to “commitment to excellence.”

All of these answers are good, and they are all true in their own way. For myself, I believe the most critical ingredient for business success is imagination.

In fact, I believe that imagination is the most powerful force in human history—yet it is also the most under-utilized human resource, perhaps especially so in business.

Okay, you may be thinking, I have no imagination – but did you know you can give yourself a kick start to enhance your own imagination? Mr. Walker has some great tips below:

  • Using your imagination effectively requires, first, that you are committed to it. Imagination is like a muscle: you can ignore it and let it atrophy or you can exercise it and make it grow.
  • Feed your imagination by staying on a continual learning curve. Stimulate it by looking for intriguing trends (and problems) in the outside world, beyond your familiar field of reference. Learn all you can about specific problems. More knowledge always leads to more imagination. The more you know, the more you can imagine.
  • Of course, the greatest way to liberate your imagination is—dare to dream. People talk a lot about the importance of “vision” in business, but what is vision? If imagination is the ability to conceive of what does not yet exist, then vision is the ability to see what isn’t there (yet).
  • Living in your vision means acting “as if” your vision was already realized…even if all you do is take some small, symbolic step. This move has a tremendous impact on your subconscious. It helps you find the way to take your vision into reality.

How are you going to build your imagination?

I would love to connect with you regarding your innovations.  Follow me @Jennifer_Nietz and for more on Intrapreneurship @Intrapreneur

Questions or comments? Please contact Jennifer Nietz at jnietz@teamCOACT.com