There are two awesome privileges that I believe we have as human beings, yet we frequently neglect them or certainly fail to harness and utilise their potential. These two areas are:
1. Imagination - Imagination is the gift that enables us to create a future that is different from the past. It is imagination that created the motor vehicle, put the man on the moon, and enabled solar power.
2. Reflection - Reflection is what enables us to not just have experiences, but to learn from our experience. It means we can move forward with more certainty than we have had in the past because of what we have learned.
Imagination and reflection don’t just happen, they require time, energy and focus. We risk getting so caught up with activity that we don’t take time to consider what that activity is accomplishing. Increasingly, I believe we value busyness over calmness, we value noisiness over quietness and because of this, we end up with activity rather than accomplishment. It is critical we make time in our businesses to reflect on our direction of travel, what is working, what is not and how we could do it better. It is also important to think about what we want the future to look like then put in place things that are required to help get us there. Both of these require time, discipline and energy. Those that learn how to do this value accomplishment over activity. If we don’t make time, we risk operating a business that generates lots of activity but doesn’t actually accomplish anything (what it should accomplish is of course linked to what it is purposed to accomplish, hence the importance of having business purpose well understood and defined).
• How much of your time and energy is spent focused on harnessing the power of imagination and reflection?
• Do you have a structure in place that enables your business to benefit from the imagination and reflections of others?
• What process do you need to put in place to assist these to develop?
Activity is not the same as accomplishment and we need to understand this if we are to maximise our contribution to the world around us.