In a world that’s changing by the nano-second, innovate and disintegrate are the only two options for organisations and individuals at all levels. Unfortunately, innovative ideas don’t simply flow by sitting tight on thinking chairs installed to inspire ideation. How does one shift his mindset from limitations of unidimensional thinking to the liberty of mental flexibility?
Here are seven tips from the life of the flexible dancing God, Krsna that teach us how to be innovative and mentally flexible in every aspect of life, be it in business ventures or relationships.
Information –The first step towards innovation is information. More important than having loads of information is learning from the hen the art of pecking the right piece. Krsna had the information that a king named Muchukunda was sleeping in a cave with a boon that anyone who disturbed his slumber would be burnt to ashes.
When he had to kill His enemy named Kalayavana, he simply recalled this information and tactfully caused the unaware foe to wake the sleeping king; thus, exterminating his enemy in an innovative way. The clue to solve every problem may be sleeping somewhere. When upgrading one’s level of information is a continuous affair, innovation becomes a regular habit.
Contemplation – Just like a cow chews on grass in a meditative trance, similarly, one should chew on a concept from as many angles as possible. To convince Arjuna to fight the war, Krsna spoke the Gita from so many different angles – whether it was karma kanda, karma yoga, jnana yoga or bhakti yoga, Krsna convinced Arjuna that he should do his duty of fighting. 700 verses to prove just one point!
Questioning – Curiosity is a certified way to remain open to fresh ideas. In the midst of action, one tends to forget the very purpose of the action. Thought provoking questions challenge the intelligence to think about the rationale behind actions. While the whole world glorified Bhishma’s vow of lifelong celibacy, Krsna was the only person asking him uncomfortable questions about the purpose of his vow.
He had taken a vow to ensure prosperity of Hastinapura and now that very vow had become the cause of disharmony and instability. Krsna was again the only one who questioned the purpose when the village of Vrindavan mechanically performed Indra puja every year. From that questioning began the famous Govardhan puja celebrations.
Resistance to change hampers innovation. Innovation depends on having the skill and the will to have an open mind to contemplate and question the information available to us. Adam Grant mentions that questioning comes from curiosity which is an important aspect of scientific thinking. For an innovative thinker, the goal is not to be always right but to recognise that he is wrong more often than not and denying it does not solve any problems.
(To be continued…)
An innovative mindset is open to contemplating and questioning.
Questioning comes from curiosity and doubts.
Recognizing that we are wrong opens the door to an innovative mindset that is ready to learn something from everyone.
(The writer is an author, Tedx speaker, story-teller, corporate trainer and visiting faculty in several premier management schools)
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