Time and again in recent months I have been astonished by the creativity and inventiveness of friends and colleagues. Yesterday I had a meeting of interested parties to discuss what could have been a controversial idea. In less than half an hour not only did I get their support and cooperation, but their suggestions for improvements and enhancements that took the whole idea to a different level.
It is increasingly clear to me that if you can create an environment where people feel safe and able to contribute, and can articulate clearly what is required, then all you need do is stand back and watch genius at work. I’m not sure why so many people are reluctant to offer ideas and suggestions – maybe they are overly self critical?
I once worked for a company that made electronic components where I heard about a revolution in the design of electric motors. At a meeting one engineer was describing the challenges of cutting and shaping the magnets that were so vital to all electric motors. Life would be so much easier, he said, if we could just mould them into the right shape. Someone at the meeting with experience of injection moulding asked ‘why don’t you?’ Others joined in to sort out the science needed to deliver correct polarities, but the end result was a brand new approach to manufacturing magnets of any shape or size that in turn enabled electric motors of every size.
I am hopeful that if we can find a way to unlock our collective creativity we can find a solution to climate change….