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Bernadette Jiwa on Imagination

Hunch by Bernadette JiwaBack home after a lovely few days away (and yes, we played the Haribo story game on the way back too, my favourite being the crazy experimental chef whose fairy godmother stopped by to teach him how to boil an egg, and who sat down with her to soft-boiled egg with soldiers every night after serving his clients bacon and banana risotto with jus of coca cola). And waiting for me on the doormat a parcel from Australia: an uncorrecred proof copy of Bernadette Jiwa's new book Hunch: Turn your everyday insights into the next big thing. I've been reading it between unpacking and washing clothes, it's full of fascinating insights into the thinking behind a whole heap of recent innovations, and what I really love is the structure the book includes for practical application. Bernadette identifies four stages - Inspiration, Insight, Idea and Implementation - and provides a 'hunch log' template to help the reader develop a practice of innovative thinking. 

She emphasises curiosity, empathy and imagination, and this passage in particular struck me forcefully: 

'Imagination has become synonymous with a certain kind of creative potential. We believe imagination belongs to those who pluck meoldies, layer paint on canvas and carry Moleskine notebooks everywhere in anticipation of inspiration striking. We've bought into the lie that imagination is for other people who have material proof that they are worthy of it, as if it were subject to a kind of fairground height restriction: you need to be this good to ride.'

It made me think of other forms of creativity - singing, dancing, art - all of which we do unselfconsciously and with great delight when we're children. But as we grow we become self-conscious and self-critical. Unless we're particularly talented, in which case we may turn the simple pleasure into pursuit of competitive advantage, we stop our amateur dabbling and leave it to the professionals. Imagination is no different. It's time we rediscovered it for its own sake, as part of our essential being, our innately creative core, and recognised that we're all just one insight away from The Next Big Thing - whether that's on a global stage or simply making our everyday life a little better. 

I'll be interviewing Bernadette in The Extraordinary Business Book Club soon about the book - can't wait. 

This entry was posted on 19 April 2017 at 17:27 and is filed under creativity | self-development. You can leave a response here.

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