Tag Archives: imagination


The first innovation principle non-innovators must embrace


I’ve mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again: anything can be reimagined.

And I think this is a key innovation principle non-innovators must embrace. In practice, what does this mean? For an example, read the text below:

anything can be reimagined

The ice cream scoop has gone through different iterations. Yet, it isn’t perfect. Why is that? What constitutes the “perfect scoop”? How can you improve something as common as an ice cream scoop? Why would you want to do that? And if you can improve it, what would that look like? How exactly would it be better than what currently exists?

Imagination: one of the most important qualities of an innovator

Kid pretending to be superman

If one of the most important qualities of an innovator is the ability to imagine, it is hardly surprising that children should be among the world’s most important innovators.


A few days ago I was on a train when a mom and her two children (both girls about 5 and 7 years old) sat next to me. One of the girls (the 5 year old) asked the other: What phone number do you want when you grow up?

The other girl gave her answer. It was looong number.

This whole interaction brought a smile to my face. To a typical adult, this is a kid being a kid. Asking dumb questions. But if we want to innovate, these are precisely the types of questions we should be asking and the type of ‘what if’ attitude we should be encouraging and practicing.

Imagine if we could choose our own phone number. Wouldn’t it be cool? This attitude brings up all kinds of questions and interesting thoughts. Just imagine if we could personalize our whole life.

What if our clothes, cars and everything we use daily would be personalized for us?

We could go on and on with this exercise and find all kinds of ideas that we could turn on their head. The point is to think without constraints and let your imagination free. Ask yourself, why, what if and why not.

Every once in awhile think like a kid and start asking dumb questions, the world needs you to.

Reimagine how you imagine

Alright it seems to me that the word ‘imagination’ doesn’t fit in a business context, unless you’re an ad agency it’s been completely banned! The mere mention of ‘let’s use our imaginations’ gets people nervous as if saying ‘what’s that?’ Ok Ok I get it, there are alternatives though and to battle that I use the word ‘reconfigure’ to talk to non-imagine people.

Take for example an interior designer, his/her job is to reimagine the interior of your house. They take what you have and reconfigure it in another way to arrive at something different. They tweak, move, shift, turn your living room in all sorts of ways sometimes by moving the objects already in place or by bringing in new objects from the outside or a mix of both.

The in the examples below focuses on ‘using what you already have’ to reimagine your living room. The objects might not be new but the small change in the arrangements makes the living room not just look different but also feel different.


before and after

before and after 2

before and after 3
This is what imagination is all about.

You don’t have to drink tequila to loosen up (although it certainly helps), you just have to ask ‘what if’ we take this and move it, remove it, turn it, twist it, shake it, etc and see what happens. So if you’re in the process of reimagining how your business will have to work in the future but lost your imagination on your way to being an adult, just put yourself in the interior designer’s shoes and start reconfiguring.