- In 1904, when Peter Pan began playing in London, the children were so enthralled by the flying hero of Never-Never Land that they took his words literally. If they believed strongly enough, then they would be able to fly.
M. Barrie, the imaginative creator of Peter Pan, began hearing from distraught parents whose children had injured themselves attempting to fly. He could have issued a statement or written a disclaimer for parents bringing their children to the play. Instead, he incorporated a slight change into Peter’s formula for flying. His solution was effective, imaginative, and long-lasting. His solution perfectly fit the situation and even improved on what originally existed – the ideal way to solve a problem. From then on, in order to fly, the children in the story needed to be sprinkled with the dust of Tinker Bell, a pixie.
- In an interview with Mr. Ford, the question was asked, “How did you come upon the idea for assembly line production of automobiles?” His response was an interesting one. “I have a vision of a mobile population. Everyone in automobiles. Everywhere I go, the question is clear: How will this happen? We’ll need roads, gas stations, garages, mechanics, and automobiles.” “But Mr. Ford, sir, what about the assembly line?” “My mama used to make apple pies. She made a great pie, but it took so long. Then one afternoon I passed by Al Jacob’s place and there it was.” “Al Jacob’s place?” “Yeah, the bakery. All the pies you could eat.”
A lot of credit is given to visionaries for their uncommon and creative solutions and yet, if we truly know what we want, everywhere we look we are apt to see solutions differently.
To face tomorrow with the thought of using the methods of yesterday is to envision life at a standstill. Each one of us, no matter what our task, must search for new and better methods – for even that which we now do well must be done better tomorrow.
Creative thinking is today’s most prized, profit-producing possession for any individual, corporation, or country. It has the capacity to change you, your business, and the world.