Saturday, December 6, 2008

Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge

This immortal quote from Albert Einstein applies perfectly in developing Business Intelligence solutions. Not to belittle knowledge and skills, they are obviously important, but just like its cousin, Business Strategy, BI requires a great deal of imagination and creative thinking to get great solutions.

In my view, you don’t create great BI solutions by implementing text book solutions. Every organization has its unique set of data and its unique Business Strategy so BI solutions need to be uniquely developed.

The question is, how do you improve your creative thinking? In my view there are a few “other side of brain” activities that help. I find that juggling, unicycling and surfing help me. When I first joined Microsoft (1995) there was a culture of juggling, and every few hours we would take a 10 minutes juggling break. At the time, I simply saw juggling as a more healthy excuse than smoking for social interaction. But I do think the peripheral brain activity somehow facilitated creative thinking. When you juggle, you cannot focus on the balls, rather, you rely on peripheral vision. This leaves you to focus on something else, and somehow you come up with insightful options with your peripheral brain busy.

Recently, our family has taken up unicycling. Yes, anyone can learn to unicycle. I am getting that same feeling of exercising the other half of my brain when unicycling. So, if you want to be more creative, I encourage you to spend time doing these “other side brain” activities. What’s your creative activity; drama, photography, creating music?

Richard Lees


Bart said...

I couldn't agree with you more! Greetz from a dutch BI consultant who's writing children's stories

KoreanTiger said...

I play the piano! especially extremly fast one (Listz etc..)
It helps to stimualte my side brain!