“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it.” ― J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
In an uncertain future, the transcendent qualities of minds willing to think outside of conventionality are bound to prosper the most. The imagination is no Walt Disney artifact meant to live only within the pages of fairy tales; it is a powerful tool by which entrepreneurs and business leaders alike can execute creative solutions to commonplace dilemmas. Ingenuity lies in uncharted places where ideas not only have the ability to thrive, but exponentially grow. Before one must “fly” in an evolving business environment, one must believe that “flying” is a possibility to begin with. Preserving the imaginative aspect in innovation is the sole way in which the hidden artistry within entrepreneurship will continue to flourish.
We currently live in a largely quantitative culture in which the only problems deemed worthy of solving are those that are calculable. While numbers can certainly seek to solve present-day issues, they can’t work alone in driving a future vision if they solely see the business as how it is and not how it could be. Fostering innovation requires pulling forward inventively despite being in a business climate run wholly on practicality. Entering a field of indefinite ideas can be scary to say to the least, but for those who seek to create, it is these scary ideas alone that can lead to vast future opportunities. This is not say that numerical information is unnecessary, but it shouldn’t hinder the bounds of contemporary thought.
Redefining your reality requires a perspective alteration, particularly through vision casting. It is important to step outside of yourself and your organization and see the larger picture at hand. This first begins with seeing a vision beyond its present day moment. Imagining future outcomes better prepares you in the art of adaptability. As business constantly changes, you are bound to run into the unexpected—but with the power of imagination, the unexpected then becomes an opportunity for growth as opposed to a fear of failure. It is important to supplement that vision with a creative backbone and enough breathing room to expand and change when necessary. Sharing this vision among your employees then adds purpose to their work and allows them to see the positive future implications of their present-day work.
In the realm of change, business forerunners must embrace transitions in order to avoid being constrained to a revolving door. Change doesn’t necessarily point to large market shifts; it can refer to modifying current inefficient work methods in small but imaginative ways in order to plan for the future of your company. For example, initiating brainstorming sessions with colleagues can spark creative change and allows for a collaborative and efficient method of planning that may have otherwise taken one person longer to conceive.
For those still digging to define “imagination,” it is time to stop digging and time to start envisioning your way out. Those who fall in the pit of creative immobility will continue digging their corporate graves for years to come. The presence of “success” may tell you to stand still, but that floating thought bubble hovering overhead will tell you that no one ever got anywhere by twiddling their thumbs.