Imagination a World Where…

To some, imagination is black box stuff, pure mystery. But think about it. What does it really take to imagine something?

We used to imagine all the time when we were children. But somewhere some of us were told, “Stop imagining things!” That voice became our inner critic that suppressed musings like

“I wish”

“What if I tried this?”

“Just suppose that”

“Who says it can only be done this way?”

These statements are a way of seeing in our mind’s eye or exercising our imagination.

For those of you who would follow the creative urges of your imagination here are three parts of your being that have to be engaged. They are your,

Head – The plausibility factor centering on facts/data

Heart – The emotional driver of imagination 

Feet – The action component where the job gets done through others with vigorous and disciplined effort.

Recently an executive invited her team to an all-day off-site discussion on the group’s strategy. She used the question “Imagine a world where!” At that time her team was unfocussed, demoralized, and unmotivated.

As the group brainstormed and imagined possibilities, a vision for their future slowly began to emerge. The “imagine” question energized the group to see a new path ahead . They are now well on the way to the realization of their dream.

Here are some questions you may ask that will bring your imagination to life. They involve the activation of your head, heart, and feet.

 Head

What data (customer surveys, industry trends, scientific findings) inform your imagination?

What resources (people, technology) do you have/need to execute on your plan?

Can you articulate this vision in a concise statement?

 Heart

What inspirational need (contribution, excellence) does this imagined idea meet in you and others?

What story do you tell that captures the imagination?

What gut feelings are generated by your imagination? (e.g. this is really important).

 Feet

What do you have to do to make your imagined idea a reality?

What initial steps will you take to ensure some early wins?

Who are the stakeholders that can make this vision a reality?

So make sure that your imagination is grounded on data, appeals to people’s hearts, and generates action.

In the words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard in “Star Trek”

“Make it so!”

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About cedricj

I am a licensed psychologist and management consultant and have always been intrigued by how leaders can inspire people in their organizations. The bottom line is that people are not always motivated by material rewards, the use of the carrot or the stick, fear and intimidation,and command and control, Five human needs inspire and drive us. Kristine S MacKain, Ph.D and myself describe these inspirational forces in our book "What Inspirational Leaders Do" (Kindle 2008)
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