Sometimes the very thing I do not want to do I really must do for the greater good of my future. I am wondering if you can relate.

Everywhere I turn in business whether reading articles or reviewing research studies or in conversations with clients, I hear creativity and innovation is a necessity. All of us need to be comfortable running toward the edges of our “not knowing.” Sometimes I’m just plain tired of living in the territory of risk. Give me time to luxuriate in the comfortable and undemanding. The reality is that often running into the unknown isn’t fun for me–that is until I jump off the cliff to experience the ride of my life.

What do I do to overcome my internal resistance?

I tap into inspiration stemming from a broad range of disciplines, which energize and thrust me into action. As I begin again to embrace the commitment to “expanding my box” of expertise and knowledge and risk and fear not merely tapping into fleeting moments of “outside of the box thinking.”

One of my points of inspiration is the sculptor Anish Kapoor, who said: “I think one has a duty to continue to experiment. To say, ‘I truly do not know what I’m doing. But I’m going to take not knowing seriously and risk whatever it is that needs to be risked to allow a process, a thing, to emerge out of the process. That may be quite mad. What is wrong with that?’”

sculptureDon’t know who he is? Well, I bet you vividly remember one of his sculptures…that is, if you watched the 2012 Olympics in London. His masterpiece curiously rose as the backdrop of many venues.

I kept wondering: “What in the world is it?” My first thought was a big, red, quirky, looking roller coaster, which proved off the mark on closer inspection. Anish intended it to represent a radical advancement in architecture combining sculpture and structural engineering as well as stability and instability.

But let’s get back to the quote. You may be thinking that’s a great philosophy for a sculptor not for business. I disagree. In fact, inspiration can and does come from far afield.

Anish’s viewpoint is particularly applicable to corporations demanding that innovation needs to emerge from every level of its ranks. His words and sculpture inspire me. A reminder that living in the “not knowing” and finding my way in the midst of dualities is the only choice I have to remain relevant long into the future.

When I feel myself shrinking into smallness, I love looking at this odd sculpture to remind myself that as illogical as it seems in business running into “not knowing” is the first step to breakthrough.

Do you allow yourself to risk not knowing and move into surprising, amazing discoveries for yourself and your company? Yes, I’m challenging you! What inspires you to action? What can you do that will have you jumping in and risking “not knowing?” You may not be comfortable at first; however, with this decision, you have placed yourself smack dab into the flow of business success.

Congratulations!

Send me your stories. I’d love to hear how you inspire yourself to action.

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