the power of courage

Early this morning, Chris Brogan published a post called “Appreciate the Wild Minds“. Near the end, he wraps up his thoughts with

Their ideas don’t fit into spreadsheets and business plans quite often, but the extrapolations are things of beauty and wildness, all at once. It’s like watching nature try to express itself in a whole new way, watching how their thoughts manifest. Sometimes nature is ugly. Sometimes it’s not efficient.

In corporate culture especially, we try so hard to fit everything into a quantifiable process–an admirable goal in many ways, as it helps us make tasks repeatable and measurable–but not everything fits into a formal process.

How do you plot creativity on a spreadsheet? How do you predict that insane thought that comes to you at 3:00 in the morning, the one that could change the world? Or the one that comes to you in the, er, “smallroom” (which is where I have arrived at some of my best solutions–I’m sure there’s a study somewhere on why that is)?

This is where we need courage, both individually and collectively. The things that worked for us in decades past, the corporate strategies (many of which have contributed to bringing the economy to its knees) and formal processes that help us standardize business and behavior, are starting to collapse under their own weight. Human creativity does not fit into a “standard”; courage is not something you can quantify. I hear and read over and over again that it’s the entrepreneurs, Chris’ “wild minds”, that will save us.

Have courage. Speak your ideas bravely; pursue your unpredictable creativity. You may have the Next Big Thing waiting for you in the smallroom.

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