Uncommon Use of Innovation

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Walt Disney sure had it right. Overcoming naysayers and the limits of what has been done gives me that kind of joy that is personal, satisfies the fire in my belly, and shared with the very few others that were there during the quest.

Walt Disney created a company that turned his art form into a multi-billion dollar industry. There were plenty of naysayers, even those close to him. “I could never convince the financiers that Disneyland was feasible, because dreams offer too little collateral.” Well we all know how this dream turned into a an international cornerstone for family vacations. The stock of this “dream” company has performed remarkably well and endured since it went public back in 1957. These people were talking with a man that was going to leave the world much different than he found it, and some of them thought he was off his rocker.

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” This is a quote of Walt’s that was used as the closing quote of my favorite children’s movie made for adults – “Meet The Robinsons”. The theme of the movie is to keep moving forward, regardless of the setbacks you face. When I first watched it, I thought it was my cartoon version of the challenges of my life. Hopes risen, only to crash; sustained determination without the fuel of success; and ultimately creating my place in the world rather than finding it. Disney sure has a magical way of weaving adult themes into children’s productions in a way that keeps both audiences engaged.

Since first reading the quote, I’ve considered it in the context of innovation in business. It’s helped me communicate better to others and keep momentum moving forward. This past week, I’ve started looking for a different logical use of it. I’m tripping my way through the tangled web of hurt feelings, unresolved differences, and the necessary interdependence that seem to work in unison at undermining the key relationships. I believe some innovation in our approach is needed to make progress.

Imagine if we used progress as our motivation. Look at a situation where feelings were hurt and apply the quote. Are we curious as to why it happened? Are we shut down to all possibilities and only open to the one what makes the perpetrator the evil opponent? What if we focused on making progress by learning what really hurt us, or why the person said it. Was it a joke gone bad? Something deeper there? Being curious about why it happened can lead to the fast lane of forgiveness, the fast lane of progress.

Same goes for unresolved differences. Can addressing them quickly allow us to make progress sooner? Sure some things take time, so why not start the clock sooner when possible? What about the hard fact that we need others. Its the way we are built. If you have an issue, take it up with God. For now, I’ll appreciate that its the way He wanted it. If we are curious about each other, can we open up new doors for our relationships and lives? If progress is what we desire, then maybe we could humbly address the comforts of complaints and attain it.

I hope you share my eagerness to cut new paths and have some fun doing the impossible.

Good luck and I hope you have a great week!