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.

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