CU Water Cooler

The Gift of Human Imagination

Kelley ParksComment

"All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

-Pablo Picasso

It's an oldie, but a goodie. Sir Ken Robinson talks about the power of creativity in his TED presentation. Go grab some coffee and shut your door. It's worth the 20 minutes. Trust me.

Here are my three favorite points and the implications for credit unions:

1. {Think like a child}: Every kid is creative, yet as adults the barriers of society, education and corporate culture suck it out of us. We need good ideas to propel us forward, yet where does creativity sit on our org chart? Is it practiced? Is it rewarded? Or are ideas largely admonished?

2. {We need to rethink the richness of human capacityIt's nearly impossible for humans to make truly logical decisions. As Simon Sinek points out in his book, Start With Why, we make decisions in our lymbic brain, the part of our brain responsible for emotion. This is why brands have such a large influence on our purchasing decisions and why companies like Apple make record profits. What if Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Larry Page started a bank? Would they continue to market on rate, price and dinosaur products? No. They'd inspire us with creativity and imagination. And we'd pay a premium.

3. {If you're not prepared to be wrong, you'll never come up with anything original} We stigmatize mistakes. Think about the last meeting you went to where a mistake was made. Mistakes have a powerful control over our ability to be creative. Yet, history is full of monumental come-backs. Did the innovative "New Coke" wipe Coca-Cola out of business? No. In fact, Coca-Cola learned from its mistakes, drew closer to its customers, came back stronger and is still the #1 soft drink in the world.  Let's be wrong, try new creative things, and bounce back higher.

After all, human imagination can only be a gift if it is actually given.