Individuals who can think innovatively are inspirational and influential players who add value to any organization.Every technology today is as a result of quality, determined and insatiable depth of innovative imagination. According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, imagination is the act or power of forming a mental image of something not present to the senses before wholly perceived in reality. Accordingly, technology is the practical application of knowledge to solve a problem using technical processes and equipment. Innovation on the other hand involves introducing new ideas, devices and methods of doing things.
Recently, I interviewed a painter on the mystery behind imagination In an attempt to answer the question, he designed a pattern to illustrate that nobody could draw a tree without in some sort becoming a tree, or draw a child without observing his motions and behaviours and then enters into the very nature to capture every attitude. The conditions for imagination are to be puzzled, to concentrate, to accept conflict and tension, to be born everyday and to feel a sense of self. Imagination is an attitude that shows an inner approach of how you look at things and how you do things differently with a combination of mental images which have been previously gathered and deposited in the memory.
Innovation is a means to an end, not an end in itself. In an organizational context the end is to create profitable growth opportunities and improve competence. It is a radical and revolutionary changes in thinking, processes, products, and organizations. To think innovatively is to think differently, find fresh ideas, and think out-of-the-box. The goal of innovation is to make positive change, create something new, tackle complex problems, improve or make things better, and make something completely different and that give rise to technology which started from the first sharpened stick, to the wheel, to the steam engine, to the space shuttle and to the microprocessor. It is this innovation and imagination that will continue to bring forward unprecedented levels of technological advancement and economic growth.
NUGGETS FOR TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATIVE IMAGINATION
• Exercise Regularly: Exercise can improve your sense of imagination. Sweat is like a blood tonic for your mind. It lubricates the rusty hinges of your brain and makes your thinking more original. Exercise allows your conscious mind to access fresh ideas that are buried in the subconscious.
• Be Calm: Relax and keep your mind fresh and less pressured, some of the best ideas spark in mind when one is relaxed and less stressed. Find your own way of calming and relaxing yourself, like taking a walk etc.
• Be Curious: Keep your mind in the state of curiosity, be inquisitive, observe, and understand. Remove self-inhibitions – self created mind constraints, assumptions that restrict your exploration.
• Have deep sense of thought: Unlock the creative part of you, do not prejudge and squash thoughts prematurely, allow your thinking and creative intuition to take charge. Think what can be done differently.
• Be Deliberate: Deliberately think differently, refuse to think in a natural habitual way or regular way, that is not confine to the existing paradigm of conventional boundaries of thinking within which you operate.
• Take challenges and ask questions: Challenge assumptions and question acceptable facts in a way that breaks the conventional wisdom to explore new alternatives and find new ways of doing things.
• Change the view point: Find new perspective, angle, and alternative positions to think from in order to perceive differently that can result in thinking and perceiving things differently than the normal way things are perceived.
• Exposure: Expose yourself to wide variety of things. Ideas come from other ideas. Get experience and exposure to new things and perspectives, variety of alternative ideas, find inspiration in crazy things. Access Information about the existing and emerging trends and technologies.
• Feedback: Ask people their opinions and ideas to collect inputs, organize and arrange their ideas to arrive at better one.
• Brainstorming: Engage in an activity that can be done individually or in group, to generate large number of ideas in the shortest time.
• Metaphorical Thinking: Learn to connect two unrelated or indirectly linked things to create ideas that can be used effectively to solve problems.
• Stretch the limit: Break the existing norms or accepted norms. Deal with fear of failure, take risks, and experiment with ideas to discover what can work and what cannot work.
Every technology is a product of someone or group of people who sacrificed time to imagine it. You never have a champion who is not challenged; it is in overcoming the challenge that brings out the champion in you. I charge you to be determined today, open your mind, think a little differently from others, conceive an idea and move out from your comfort zone to get it work until the world appreciates what you have got to offer.
REMEMBER, IF WE DESIRE ANY TECHNOLOGY THEN WE NEED MINDS WHO CAN IMAGINE IT, WHO WILL KEEP IMAGINING IT TILL IT IS CREATED. THEREFORE, PUT YOUR MIND AT WORK TODAY AND BECOME A CELEBRATED INNOVATOR TOMORROW. I WISH YOU THE BEST.
COVENANT INIOBONG SUNDAY
University of Uyo