Six Dots

By Mac M. Martirossian, CPA

Times are tough.  Visions are blurred.  Innovation is needed.  Where can we turn to for inspiration?

In 1813, at the age of 4, a young boy in a small town near Paris working in his father’s leather shop had an accident that blinded him for life, yet brought light to the world of darkness.  Over time, this inquisitive young man developed an entire communication system for writing AND math—with just six dots.  Louis Braille died at age 43 suffering from tuberculosis.

So simple, yet so complex.  Six dots provide for the writing of foreign languages, musical scores, mathematical and chemical notations, and other technical matters http://www.dblnj.org/images/braille_chart2.gif.

Louis Braille made a difference with a handicap that many of us are fortunate not to have.  Every day, we are challenged to make a difference in our own stations in life.  Yet, some choose to deal with the complexity of the challenge, or the reasons why something can’t get done.

Successful individuals and leaders find a path to a solution, no matter the obstacles.  While at Home Depot Home Services, the Business Unit Leader I worked for one such leader.  Every Thursday morning, he had a hand full of his direct reports meet in his office for an hour to come up with “the next big thing”.  He forced us to think as a team about innovation—the next revenue stream, a better customer experience, a new method of generating leads.  That was the most difficult hour of the week for me….no e-mails, no conference calls, no distractions.  Just time to think…..to create…to innovate.

The decade between 2010 and 2020 will mandate that we become creative in everything we do.  Here are some thoughts on how to get prepared:

  • Focus.  Facebook, Twitter, Email, Web surfing, are diluting think time.  Stop the wasted time and read something meaningful, solve a problem, create a concept.
  • Contribute.  Not money—intellect.  Do some heavy lifting for your company, a friend, an organization.  Flex the brain muscle.
  • Invest…..in yourself.  It is difficult to find discretionary spending money these days.  Redirect from non-essential cash outflows to an investment in books and courses which will strength your ability to create solutions.

We can’t all have the vision that Louis Braille had.  However daily we are faced with opportunities to create solutions and yet we allow distractions to get in the way and we lose the chance to leave our positive imprint on a substantive issue.  A good place to start would be to set aside an hour a week to sit quietly, think……..and innovate.


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