I’m sharing the ThomasNet.com article, “The Accidental Invention of the Safety Pin” because it really got me thinking. It’s not a typical feel-good tale where happy protagonists are triumphant in the end. Instead, the story chronicles a true-life example of what happens when inspirational brilliance meets a real need.
Spoiler alert, I’m sharing a few details of the article here so please read the wonderful Real McCoy first if you wish. I found the overall concept described in the article to be delightful and a bit familiar; brand new and never before seen creative solutions spring from real-life needs. Needs may be huge — such as Walter Hunt’s pressing need to overcome his challenges in supporting his family. They may be personal, as was my desire to learn how to draw before I was in kindergarten. I couldn’t have explained it then but I simply had to learn to draw.
Things get extra interesting when we allow ourselves to get creative in finding solutions. For Walter Hunt and the indispensable safety pin, he was stewing about his big problem while absentmindedly twisting the wire in his hands. This is fascinating. Quite likely his unconscious hand movements freed his brain to wander, getting creative in the best of ways.
One of the reasons I suspect this really works is because of my Grandpa. He’s not with us anymore, but when I was six or, so he helped me learn to draw. One of his favorite exercises was one he encouraged me to practice over and over. It was so fun I had no problem doing so; we’d do it together. He trained me to draw a quick picture with my right hand (because I’m right-handed). It could be a flower, a profile, anything I wanted. But as soon as I finished, the pencil was transferred to my left hand. The challenge was to repeat the drawing with great accuracy as a left-hander. At first, this was frustratingly impossible — my left-handed efforts looked like scribbles. But gradually I got quite good at it. I noticed that when I was engrossed in these efforts I’d think of the most startling ideas. To this day I doodle this exercise whenever I have a challenge that stumps me.
With our services as Ideagility, getting creative is a survival skill. Our smart customers, from West Coast construction company, Applied Restoration to indispensable software services provider, LifeExec, face constantly changing competitive landscapes and evolving customer needs. Our focus, understanding their customers and needs deeply, is the only way we can get creative in the best of ways.
I can’t wait to see the next safety pin-type invention; maybe we’ll even be able to paint florescent masterpieces with perfectly chosen colors shooting out our fingertips. And, if you’d like to share a creative solution or two here, I’d be fascinated to listen.