"The bird's wings are undoubtedly very well designed indeed, but it is not any extraordinary efficiency that strikes with astonishment, but rather the marvelous skill with which they are used."

-Wright Brothers

The MUSEologies Studio sits at the end of a narrow lane with white picket fences on either side. Ten foot banana palms drape over the path like a series of giant umbrellas. Tiny baby geckos skitter across the ground, sometimes by the dozen. Several times, every day, we walk past the most delightful bungalow cottage painted a deep aquamarine blue with brilliant white trim. Wonderful neighbors live in this magic abode. Truly exceptional individuals who spread happiness and warmth wherever they go. One of them is currently studying towards an MBA. We talked the other day about Gary Hamel and his theories on strategic innovation. After our chat, it occurred that Gary’s advice applies to the creation of art as well as business…well, actually, when you think about it, we could apply it to just about any challenge that faces us.

When you are ‘in the forest’ of a project whether it be a painting, a sculpture, a writing conundrum or opening a new restaurant in Key West; step out of the dark foreboding woods of frustration…just for a moment. In your mind, find a smooth ageless boulder next to the most beautiful waterfall you can create and have a sit; allowing the tumble of ideas to flow and roar. Don’t be surprised or dismiss any ideas that appear. Most will be absolutely irrelevant but then…

Acknowledge them all and allow your thoughts to continue on their journey. Breathe deeply. You may even want to close your eyes and move from the boulder to stretch out in the soft sweet grass. If you really ‘let go’, the ideas will come in wonderful jumbles, free-falling over the edge of your imagination into the deep pool of potential innovation. These wide ripples move out from the obscure recesses of wherever ideas come from...giant vibrating circles that embrace you with inspiration and clarity. It may take a couple of visits to your waterfall, so don’t be discouraged. There is magic in this process. Gary Hamel obviously sits by a very inspirational waterfall. He believes that there are three basic sources of strategy innovation:
1. From analysis of the facts at hand.
2. Born from Inspiration, Creativity and Vision.
3. From the simple observation that many existing strategies evolve and emerge,
‘morphing’ from one form to another.
Hamel suggests that to achieve strategies that are neither too rigid nor too random; one must look at the roots of a particular strategy. He states that this is not a complex process but a simple one. By defining specific strategies and turning them into ‘action points’ a person (an organization) can adopt a new, more positive and productive strategy. Hamel defines five key areas to consider:

1. New Passions:
People are motivated to make changes when they can steer it and benefit from it.
2. New Voices:
New people bring ‘new voices’ to the table which creates a diversity of thinking and richness to the formulation of strategies.
3. New Conversations:
These ‘New Voices’ will add a new energy to a potentially sterile environment where the same people are discussing the same issues over and over.
4. New Perspectives:
‘New Voices’ and ‘New Conversations’ lead to
seeing differently and thinking differently
‘outside the box’.
This scenario generates new and innovative perspectives and strategies.
5. Experiments:
Hamel believes that low-risk experimentation
can accelerate a person’s (an organization’s) learning
which leads to discovering what works and what does not work.

Gary Hamel also promotes the power of ‘perseverance’; the ability to take steady and continued action, usually over a long period and especially despite difficulties or setbacks. I’m sure there may be a few of you out there in cyberspace who can relate to that exhausting reality. MUSEologies loves his quote relative to this idea:

Perseverance may be just as important as speed in the battle for the future.”

Wishing you all…
Boundless Inspiration
It really is up to us to change the World.


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tj said...

Gary Hamel is a brilliant mind.
Fantastic that you apply his work to creativity.