I saw this little plaque in a store in Washington DC a while ago. It said “Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge”. I took a picture of it with my phone, but sadly that went swimming in the gulf a while back (another story). But the quote stayed with me.
We live in a “pro-knowledge” society. We emphasize knowledge. We want our kids to go to college. And not just any college, we want them to go to the best school possible. And it doesn’t stop there. We emphasize learning on our jobs and send our employees to a variety of technical and business classes. All in part of infusing them with “knowledge”.
On the other hand, we often stifle creativity. We force kids to master standardized tests. We remove or reduce arts from education. We take the creative air out of so many things that we do.
Now this may sound like some wacky, left-wing. touchy-feely liberal thinking. But those of you that know me know that I am far from that. As I’ve spent the past few years outside of traditional corporate bureaucracy and worked in a small business, I’ve grown to understand the overwhelming power of creativity.
Whether it is coming up with a creative solution to inexpensively resolve a network problem, deal with an employee or resource challenge, or invent the next big thing that will transform your business, creativity is key.
Steve Jobs didn’t create the iPhone and the iPad because of “knowledge”. He, and every other innovator of our day took their knowledge and took it to an entirely different level because of creativity.