The Long and Winding Road : ‘Why constant questioning gets results…’

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‘Why constant questioning gets results…’

The most difficult question to answer on many occasions is a very simple one, namely  ‘Why?’

We often have an unhealthy adherence to ‘facts’ and established practices which determine our own behaviours even if we do not fully understand why.

Remember when you started your first job? Did anyone ever tell you to stop having too many ‘good ideas’ and just ‘get your head down’ and learn how it is done? So, you were hired because of the potential you exhibited only to find that your definition of potential was different from those who employed you! You brought a fresh uncomplicated view of the work to the company and the company saw potential in molding you to think like they think. Therein lies the story of many people, thank heavens for Social Media then where ideas are like fire. There are no hard and fast rules, creativity is the currency and rule breaking is the norm. Well that is what we all like to believe but perhaps the truth is somewhere in between the two ideas.

The ability to question everything is a must if we are to create anything new. Our world is full of concepts and rules which we blindly accept without a moment of reflection, yet in truth we should constantly examine why we do things and why we think in the ways that we do.

Who was the first person to eat frog’s legs? Hhmm, I am sure he or she was considered a lunatic until it became a culinary delicacy and therefore a revenue stream. Perhaps it is in the pursuit of a revenue stream that we shy away from being truly creative with our thoughts and instead lean towards minor adjustments to existing ideas. There is danger in tweaking existing ideas and practices in much the same was a seafarer will tell you that being 1 degree off course at the start of a journey will deliver you to a place you do not want to be.

As we reflect on 2013 and plan for 2014 I challenge you to truly approach the next year with a blank piece of paper, identify what you want to see and then work a plan to manifest your vision. If you invent new rules, break existing habits, challenge customs and practices then that is fine.

I saw the following TEDtalk recently which has made a great impact on me because it made perfect sense but I also realised that I , on many occasions, thought like the ‘establishment’ when I believed I did not.

This video has been removed from TED website due to some questions about the efficacy of a couple of assertions made in the talk. The irony is that those removing the talk are the subject of the talk! If ever an action reinforced a message , then this is it.

Like John Harrison and his 25 year struggle to be acknowledged for his creation of a clock which could accurately measure longitude at sea, sometimes the arbiters of how we think and behave are the very folks who prevent the true expression of creativity and innovation.


Thought provoking, eh?

see you on the long and winding road…… Patrick

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