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Imagination: fencing with ghosts

James Whistler was once told by an admirer told that he had been to the coast and the colors he had seen were the colors In Whistler’s paintings. Whistler replied that nature was improving!

I wish others could have such great come backs when their acts of imagination were questioned.
Because imagination requires working with what is not there (yet!), it is not very robust. It’s easy to bring down from tenuous flight. But if we can’t imagine a potential first, it will never be manifest. So we are in dire need of these forays as the first step in the creative or “innovative” process.

Now we in biz love to extol the virtues of innovation! But when it starts to show itself- in acts of imagination- we are pretty good at stamping it out like a brush fire. We want results! Not crazy flights of fancy! Not during productive time.

Well, the two can coexist. We just get a little trained out of it by the need to be on task.
Maurice Mascarenas used to say:
Everyone wants to go to heaven; no one wants to die.
Taking time and space to exercise the imagination is like that. By definition not every jag on the imaginative road is going to have a useful outcome.
To get the good we must allow the average to flow. It is really a matter of encouragement.   If someone in leadership can restrain the urge (in the others!) to squelching those first tender shoots of imagination, maybe we would see more innovation.

Doug Bouey
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

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Bringing out the best in you, your company and your people.

Doug Bouey, President
Catalyst Strategic Consultants Ltd.

Calgary, AB // Phone: 403.777.1144


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