Imagination is a powerful thing. I’ve always believed it’s at the foundation of our evolution as a society and as a species. I felt it as a child during playtime, and I’ve seen it as an adult during work time. Pain gives us a unique advantage, a clue, of what we’ve outgrown. I never wanted to be (or even imagine) the perfect Barbie set up, or play with plastic toys; it made no sense to me. I wanted to play with nature, imagining I was something other than human. We all have our unique interests as adults & children that help us play into our evolution as human beings.
For me, there’s no better icon of personal evolution than entrepreneurship, because for a business to grow and evolve, its founder must also grow and evolve as a leader. And there’s no better icon of environmental evolution than a monarch butterfly. Over the last 55 or so years, I’ve seen my human family get further and further away from nature, due to business getting further and further away from nature. I thought, why can’t business and nature co-exist in harmony? I’ve spent the last 20+ years exploring that question.
Each entrepreneur has their ‘why’ for going into business, and the ‘how’ and ‘who’ are usually where growth gets stalled. I happen to think that play and imagination are critical building blocks to growth that many leaders leave out. Every year since 2012, I’ve had the great honor of being invited to the exclusive EY Strategic Growth Forum which happens in Palm Desert, CA. I love attending because, it takes me back to the playground of imagination, discovery, and play. I see all the star performers, fastest-growing start-ups, and companies, and my imagination is sparked. Not only that, but every spark also charges the next as more people join in the fun. We can all feel it in our cells. The thoughts sparked each year become blueprints for our continued business and personal growth. Think about the power of this. We each have 50 trillion cells. Enough energy to produce a bolt of lightning with focused intention.
Entrepreneurs are people who take that spark, focus it, and make great things happen in the world. Here’s the ironic thing about lightning. Its job is to balance the atmosphere energetically. I would surmise to say that play and imagination are the very things that keep many of us in balance.
I look forward to this every year, and can’t wait for the illuminating experience, which takes our imaginations to new levels, helping us envision cutting-edge new approaches for solving the most pressing (and painful) needs of our time.
What do you imagine?