Thinking Differently

Innovation and creativity aren't exclusively part of science or the arts. We can find those who think differently everywhere and we need them now more than ever.

Thinking Differently

The human spirit of innovation never ceases to amaze me.

Like most people, I am in awe of those who think differently enough to make breakthrough discoveries in the sciences or medical fields. My brain isn't wired like that but I am very happy that some people's are.

That admiration extends to artists too. Many of them think differently to the rest of us and this is expressed through their preferred medium. I can't pretend that some art isn't absolute rubbish and not worth the time it took to create, but I do admire the ability of some to visualise and create.

However, my greatest admiration goes to those who get creative and innovative in the business world. The ability to imagine something different, create that product, market it and sell it is really extraordinary. I'm not talking about the person selling sandwiches at the local deli but those who create something so different from what was there before.

The Apple iphone is one such product. So too are many of the apps you can download on your phone.

The rubber shoes known as 'Crocs' also spring to mind. Sure they are downright ugly but the rubber slip-ons are so comfortable and practical, it was surely a work of genius.

I was reminded of this when I saw a new version of rubber footwear named 'Coddies'. As you may gather from the name, there is a fishy dimension to these innovations. The Director and Flounder in chief is clearly a different thinker.

Just have a look at his range of seafood shoes.

Okay, I slipped a couple of their other products in there too - the loafers and banana splits!

I can't really explain why these, from millions of products, captured my attention, except that when I saw them I immediately understood how they could become a cult like product. Sure, they might have a short product lifespan but they are the product of someone thinking very differently.

We need more of that; and not just in business. We need people to think differently and critically about a whole range of contemporary issues.

The fiscal, social and economic path we are on right now is leading us to a very dark place and yet the 'consensus' is that we are doing well. Perhaps the different thinking needed is merely a return to what has worked in the past but in this day and age that approach is very radical indeed.

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