Many of us are not well positioned to gain fresh insights and make new discoveries. We’re not in the right mindset and as Louis Pasteur said, “Chance favors only the prepared mind.” So even when we’ve made all the other choices that set us up to innovate, we still have a gap.
Many of us resist exercising our imagination, and even more of us don’t trust our imagination enough to act on it. Yet it’s by exploring our ideas and gathering feedback that we’re able to improve them…and it’s not just our imagination that needs frequent testing.
Accomplished innovators routinely choose their imagination over their knowledge. They recognize, as Einstein did, that knowledge is limited—and limiting—and they don’t want to be caught unprepared for the inevitable changes and surprises they know they will encounter. They exercise their imagination like an athlete exercises muscles, not because it’s always needed, but because without exercise it won’t be ready to perform at those crucial times when it is needed.