By: Ashley Griffin 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand." – Albert Einstein

If that doesn’t get you thinking, I’m not sure what will. Say it with me - Imagination. Inspiration. Possibility. These words are all too often lost in our vocabulary because we are too focused on the here and now. We’re afraid to take chances, because we are too worried about the consequences. We don’t make time for imagination, because our lives are too busy. We’re too this, too that, and it’s limiting. It’s limiting our opportunities and our growth capabilities.

Look at Google, Apple, Nike, Amazon, or any other company that has taken their industry by storm. They did not get there because they had a team with the highest IQ. They got there because they had a team of innovators. They asked the questions - is this possible? can this be done? It is a mindset that is essential to create and transform. It is the key for breakthroughs.

I recently read a Harvard Business Review article on breakthrough innovation. It discussed a mindset that I believe is crippling many business owners and leaders; a mindset focusing on profitability rather than possibility. Companies are missing potential breakthrough innovations, because they are too focused on probable/profitable short-term projects. These organizations concentrate on speed to market, quick return, and profitability. While they may find short-term success, they can often miss the bigger picture.

True innovation derives from an understanding of potential and anticipating the future. Knowing your numbers, drivers, capabilities, and economic stability of the industry paves the way for change. It is the recipe for innovation. However, it will never transpire unless someone believes in the possibility. Innovation requires an individual to question the way things are done and to find solutions to make things better.

We all have the potential to create change; however, we must realize this potential and believe in the possibilities. Start by gathering your team and asking: What if we did this instead of that? How can we make this better? What would our clients want? What do they need? How can we fulfill this need? Bounce ideas of each other. Believe in the talent you hired and the partners you chose. Communicate your visions. Do not limit or stifle creativity.

While there is risk involved, think of the long-term. We don’t have smartphones, Bluetooth, 3D printing, or even the possibility of self-driving cars because they were going to quickly materialized and gain acceptance. All innovations were created from possibility. Don’t limit yourself to the here and now – imagine, inspire, and create.

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” – Walt Disney