Imagination – A natural business resource

By Maria Forbes
July 15, 2015

While sitting in the airport, I decided to buy a few magazines as I waited for my guests to arrive. This was a chance to have some fun, catch up on girl stuff. However, I am an eternal student of what makes people succeed in their careers, and I found myself gravitating to the business section. At first glance one magazine appeared to highlight fashion, Heidi Klum graced the cover. I almost passed on a chance to read her story and many more from Success Magazine, May 2015. I am still pulling examples and insights from this great issue.
An article titled ‘Harry Po…mp and Circumstance’ (Margaret Jaworski), seemed to describe another success story that would contain bits of inspirational wisdom but not necessarily deliver something I can utilize. I was wrong.
J.K. Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter stories, gave a speech to the graduating class of Harvard University (2008) which became the idea for a new book. But this idea is something business leaders should understand better. Rowling spoke to the young grads about two important things that formed her success; the benefits of failure and the value of imagination. The first, benefits of failure, seem familiar to most of us. Hitting bottom and gaining wisdom, makes one stronger… more secure in your ability to survive. The second point, the value of imagination, gave me pause as I realized this important human ability may be taken for granted or ignored in our business culture.
The ability to imagine is natural, it is unique, and as Rowling stated ‘it is the power that enables us to empathize with humans whose experiences we have never shared.’ Have you ever asked your employees what they would do, to reach a goal or to complete a project, if they were free to use their imagination? Have you ever asked yourself that question?
She understands the power of her imagination, and it informs her writing and continues to motivate her. If you empowered your team to use it, how would imagination inform a role in client services for example, when dealing with an angry customer? How would imagination inform business process for an operations manager that is facing organizational change? A natural resource, this human ability is readily available to us all. What if you asked your team to use their imagination as a resource? Would innovation happen faster? If you would like to start finding the answers, call us at FIREPOWER Teams!

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