Alternative Reality

There doesn’t seem to be any room for imagination in the business world these days. It all seems to be about analysing numbers, increasing efficiency and improving productivity. While all those activities are valuable, they’re not quite enough. You and I both know that imagination is what really makes the difference.

The ability to imagine is our brain’s most powerful asset. Thanks to our prefrontal cortex we have an incredible experience simulator. It allows us to dream up amazing new ideas, imagine the impossible and create and simulate alternative realities.

This is not just important for creative thinking and new product development, it is also very handy in every day business situations.

Imagination is often perceived as childish. However, our talent for day dreaming should not be underestimated. Like Einstein used to say; “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Analysing what is done in the past and applied in the present is great, yet analysis on its own will never lead to new ideas.

Instead of doing endless amounts of research and making longs lists of facts, try thinking up an alternative future. Instead of worrying about what is, think about what can be. Just close your eyes for a second and imagine how else it could be done…

When you are organising an event, think about how people experience the occasion. What are they seeing? What are they doing? What do they feel? How are they reacting to your event? What happens?

Play the movie in your head. How are people finding the location? Do they travel by car or with public transport? And what happens once they arrive? Do you wait for them, to give them a warm welcome? At what time do they arrive? Are they hungry? Could you perhaps offer them a little snack?

What is the first thing you want them to see? A banner, a smiling manager or a fancy corporate clip? Or perhaps the prototypes of your latest innovation? Do you want them to interact with something? What would really stun them?

Be the director of the movie. Edit, Replay, rewrite, add actors and rearrange the scene. Unlike reality your imagination does not know any limitations.

If you can see things happen, you can also make them happen. Or at least it will inspire you to get new ideas. Remember: imagination is an extremely powerful creative tool and doesn’t cost you a thing…

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