Houston, We Have a Problem…..

As I look around at our world today we have more than our share of things to be fixed. Do you want to view them as problems or opportunities? Good question. We define ourselves as conservatives or progressives and that is supposed to steer our ship. But I think it goes way beyond that.

Whenever I get knee deep in things complex I always find my way back to Leonardo DaVinci. He was the master of thought and innovation. I have espoused on more than one occasion about his seven thought processes which have been cataloged by Michael Gelb. The two that spring to mind are Curiositae and Sensazione.

We have to take time to solve a problem by defining it in pretty good detail. Leonardo would look at something from three totally different directions. That’s his Curiositae. He didn’t go to the bookcase and whip out Solution#3 which he had learned at Harvard Business School. He laid out statements and parameters of what he was trying to accomplish.

To be successful you have to look beyond barriers and biases. We are not God’s gift to the music world or any other discipline. We have to look around us to be sure. How many times have you heard “This is the way we have always done it” or even worse “That will never work” before the idea is halfway out of your mouth. Negativity has no place in innovation. You have to want to learn from others. Curious ,we must be.

Sensazione is the tuning up of our five senses. People say they can’t visualize a set of plans. Is that because they really can’t or they refuse to open their eyes and press their envelopes? Hearing goes beyond great music but also challenges us to truly hear what is going on around us. We then take it in and study it. Contemplate on it. Not to look for the first opportunity to knock it down but see if it really has legs.

Our sense of taste let’s us try new things or do you dismiss them out of hand? “I would never eat that crap.” “I only drink white wine or red.” Hmm, I guess you are really open to my next thought. The sense of smell gets to our emotions. Garlic. Spices. Beautiful flowers. I don’t know about you but my brain lights up in about nine different directions. I get wound. I guess that is the manic side of my illness. Ha! Ha!

We have made remarkable strides in medicine but we still maintain a reactive rather than proactive stance. We don’t reward good behavior but in a perverse way do so for bad behavior. Go ahead and eat or drink your brains out and we will heal you. We really have to approach this in a different way but can the healthcare industry come kicking and screaming into the 21st century?

Schools, taxes, global warming, entitlements, farm subsidies, the size of government itself. All need breaths of fresh air. Totally new approaches. Ah yes TTG we will once again bring up that thing called compromise. But it all begins with seeing what is possible rather than predicting downfall.

Think back to Bell and Edison. These were true geniuses. Who today do we equate with Einstein? This may sound like a stretch but I think not. Our body politic is a reflection of who we are. We have all gone to our respective corners and will die on our swords. My way or the highway. As a people we are not creative. Innovation is a better vacuum or thinkpad or tablet. Stuff. Right now we need a lot more than a better driver or putter.

We need to address water and energy as resources to be managed. We need to find more food. We have depleted our oceans. Global warming is here whether you like it or not. We have to figure out how the hell we are going to live with one another. We shouldn’t be worrying about how we are going to finance the takeover of Sprint but how can we nurture entrepeneurship and true invention.

I actually feel all our consolidation has been deleterious. We have fewer of everything from banks to airlines. In these vast bureaucracies whether they are business or government the innovators die. Their seniors either feel threatened or deaf. Just want to get through and not create something dynamic.

As fewer and fewer manage greater numbers we become just part of the crowd. We need to see life as an exciting prospect and frontier. Not something to be endured. The old crowd doesn’t want to rock the boat or change their lives. The young look at things cynically and see no point in participation. If they do it is provincial in their town or burgh but not the nation as a whole.

We need Leonardo. He could invent things no one had even thought of before. We need to delve into our wonderful brains and find some pearl that just might make life a whole lot better. We need new approaches and a case of TNT for our staid thinking. We need Curiositae and Sensazione. I’m buying.

As Always
Ted The Great

Michael Gelb…How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci
The Da Vinci principles are:
Curiosità – An insatiable quest for knowledge and continuous improvement
Dimostrazione – Learning from experience
Sensazione – Sharpening the senses
Sfumato – Managing ambiguity and change
Arte/Scienza – Whole-brain thinking
Corporalità – Body-mind fitness
Connessione – Systems thinking
Some friends taught it as a course in high school

Da Vinci Inventions to name a few…all in the late 1400’s
Scuba Gear
Revolving Bridge

Super Freakonomics a fabulous book with tons of innovation and creativity. A totally new way at looking at the simplest of things.
Featured is a company call Intellectual Ventures which dreams up off the wall solutions to everyday problems.

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