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The Power of Imagination

Robin Ridgley

“Logic can take you from A to B Imagination will take you everywhere”

Albert Einstein

So this may be an urban myth but it turns out, Einstein wasn’t a genius. He was just really, really good at unleashing his creative side. 

Imagination was a big buzzword when I was a kid (before we knew what “buzzword” meant, anyway)

However, since entering the world of work, it’s almost vanished from our vocabulary. That’s too bad because our imaginations can help us solve challenging business problems, innovate, and explore new possibilities and futures.

The power of our imagination is amazing. It is often an underused source of helping us navigate our way through the challenges of life. This is especially true in the workplace.

We either stifle or underestimate this skill, which can be used, to either shape the future of our workplace, or to change unhealthy or stressful situations in the here and now.

We are so used to performing the same tasks day in and day out that work can become a slog—and you feel like you’re stuck in a rut.

Some of my best and most satisfying work has been when I have been able to use my imagination to provide a solution to a difficult task or brief.

Imagination allows us to explore ideas of things that are not in our present environment or do not exist yet.

We use our imagination all the time whether you are problem-solving or not. So I have a question for you.


What does using imagination at work mean to you, and how do you cultivate it in your organisation?

Sitting in the same chair at the same desk with the same grey walls or too-bright environment gets to you after a while.

The human brain likes variation, cognitive scientists hypothesise that our ability to imagine, to come up with mental images and create new ideas, is the result of something called a "mental workplace," a neural network that likely coordinates activity across multiple regions of the brain.

Like any toolbox, our minds have an assortment of tools available for us to utilise whenever we need to.

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The Imagination Age

The Imagination Age is a way to define the period in which we currently live, between the fading Industrial Era and the coming Intelligence Era, in which machines will be smarter than people.

In the Imagination Age, we can collectively imagine and create the future we want to inhabit before we lose that chance.

This isn't just about generating utopian visions to make ourselves feel better about the challenges we face. By using imagination you can rapidly prototype and test ideas to alter our systems and lives.

 

Using Imagination in your organisation

To harness the power of imagination in your organisation, there needs to be a balance between the individual and the group which is necessary for meaningful collaboration.

Risk-taking is required, as is pursuing curiosity. Discipline and fun should go hand in hand.

Resilience is a necessity for navigating rapid transformation, as is personal reinvention. The ability to improvise is helpful in all situations.

People with vision who can connect with other cultures on a deep level are needed in the Imagination Age, as are those who can do a lot with a little and communicate their ideas with clarity and passion.

Mostly, the shape of the future is reliant on the ability to think ahead.

In the Imagination Age, we have to allow leaders and our colleagues to create powerful stories, allowing them to use their imagination that supports your organisational culture and vision.

Get in touch

It would be great to hear from you, contact us at Sysdoc for an informal chat about how you can use the power of imagination in your organisation.

Robin Ridgley is Head of Capability for People & Culture at Sysdoc. When he is not working with clients to help build cultural change, he is a massive Star Wars geek, he enjoys listening to movie soundtracks and is Dad to two teenagers.  

You can contact Robin at [email protected]   


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