Big Thoughts

It’s 2:05AM and I find myself wide awake in a Hotel room in Wroclaw Poland with no air conditioning and a squeaky oscillating fan. I managed to sleep off the 12 hour transit during the later afternoon and with a little luck, I’ll re-sync my sleep habits in the next couple of hours. In the mean time, I find myself lying in bed seeking answers to bigger questions.

If you’ve never had the opportunity to take time to seek answers to bigger questions, then perhaps you need to pause and reflect.

Tonight, I was thinking about the the work that I have been asked to do here in Poland and that devolved into a general examination of what it means to be a creative thinker.

I came to the realization that Innovation is fueled by imagination. Imagination has no bounds, so successful innovation involves a realization of the difference between science and fiction.

So much of what we do in life is controlled by the triangle:

(Good – Fast – Cheap)<- Pick two.

By that I mean the pressures of business tend to force us to pick Fast & Cheap leaving us with a good but not the best product. There is little opportunity to let our imaginations lead us to true innovation. Sometimes for a few minutes we catch glimpses of innovation during our busy day, but we don’t have time to write them down and they end up lost like our dreams and nightmares from the night before.

So I ask myself, what does it mean to be a creative person in a field that is continuously evolving? Step one is to let your imagination go. You’ve heard people say that we need to “Think outside the box” well that is letting your imagination go. That said, anything that we have created that has stood the test of time, was built on a solid foundation. Solid foundations don’t just happen, they are constructed from the thoughts of many people who accept criticism and constantly improve their designs.

As creative people we need to own what we do and strive to make it better with every passing day. To do that we need help and that help will only be offered if we ask for it and accept it. We need to give credit where credit is due and we need to remind ourselves that the human condition is temporary. We have a responsibility to encourage the people who follow us to be better.

A lyric that sums that up would be “Look behind you there’s the man you’re chasing” “Nik Kershaw”

So where is all this going? Damned if i know and that’s the point.

I guess what I want to leave you with tonight is “take time to be innovative, own what you do, accept criticism to make it better, never stop making it better and take time to build on a solid foundation”.

If you read between the lines, it also says, expect change so make your design open to change.

Maybe now I can sleep?

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2 Responses to Big Thoughts

  1. David Brown says:

    Fred, I really like this post! This is a topic that keeps me awake too. It’s too easy to be seduced into busy-cycles where we lose track of the bigger picture. Then, when we reflect, we realize how little time we are actually creative.

    That being said, you are one of the most creative people I have ever worked with. I can’t remember when you weren’t up to some new thing or other – always pushing boundaries!

    Never give up, never surrender!


  2. SRMcEvoy says:

    Thank you for another great piece.

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