Whilst our work and our lives often require logical, proven systems and solutions, I’m sure we can all think of a time when the solution to a problem came to us in the most unexpected way.
In the mid-nineteenth century, William Perkin was trying to create synthetic quinine in order to treat malaria. He failed, producing only a dense purple goo. Looking at it, he realised it was a very fashionable colour at the time and with a little more work, was able to produce the first synthetic dye in a colour he called ‘mauve’.
Another – sadly unknown – inventor was one day lying in bed pondering the problem of how to create the perfect egg cup: one that would adjust to take eggs of different sizes. Just then, one of his bed springs snapped and popped out of the mattress. Looking at the bed spring, he realised what he needed to do and invented the coiled metal spring egg cup.
Neither of these inventions came about as a result of a logical process: one was making the best of a failed experiment and the other was making use of an idle moment. As I said earlier, not all problems are solved as a result of sitting down and willing ourselves to systematically determine the best answer.
Today’s pebble for you to ponder: how will you create space this week for some creative thinking?
What do you think?
ps I’m creating some creative thinking space for myself by taking a blog break. I’ll be back here on 19 February.