The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can
This marvel of an Elephant Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
We're reading about the hurdles to creativity in business. Reportedly (links Mercanta Communication in Sweden), a "review of the rapidly growing body of research into creativity and innovation in the workplace" suggests that the most significant hurdle is not a lack of ideas. "The vast majority of companies operating today are not doing a good job of translating creative ideas into solutions that improve the firms’ performance," according to one of the reserachers, Jing Zhou of Rice University Business School.
As in the elephant rhyme, many ideas are partly right. But without clear vision, each idea's author lacks a holistic perspective. They are motivated to sell their perspective instead of a desire to find something in another's idea that can make theirs even better.
A holistic perspective has clarity of vision and motivates collaboration.
Understandably most businesses and creative professionals fear collaboration. It can be a huge time waster and doesn't necessarily result in the clarity needed for everyone to paddle in the same direction.
That's why process is valuable to both business and creative professionals. When collaborators have a roadmap, they are more likely to use their creative time more productively.
What are features of processes that work in today's increasingly complex marketplaces?
How could existing businesses apply this learning to the marketing planning process?
What would a collaborative innovation process look like for new business ideas?