The Octopus

By Mac M. Martirossian

At a young age we all learned never to judge a book by its cover.  This would hold true for a creature of the ocean often mistaken for a monster in mythology.  Through no fault of its own, the octopus is one of the ugliest and scariest creatures in open water.  So much for the cover.

The Octopus is highly intelligent in the order of invertebrates.  For example, Octopus have been known to break out of their tanks and into others in search of food.  They have boarded boats, opened holds to eat crabs.  They even know how to open a jar to reach the food inside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocWF6d0nelY.  Research has shown them to be strategic, with an ability to learn.

Perhaps we are motivated to be creative when we have a need to satisfy basic needs like eating.  Whatever the motivation, we need to be more innovative in everything we do, in order to add value to our respective stations in life..  Here some ways to do that: 

  • Feed your brain.  One way is to visit TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) http://www.ted.com/.  Perhaps their tag line says it best:  Ideas worth spreading.  Read magazines like Fast Company.  They will stimulate your creative side and just maybe, give you a spark for a new concept—a better way of doing something.
  • Leave your tank.  Learn to get out of your comfort zone and flex your right brain to think of solutions to problems at work or in your community.  If you are highly creative, exercise your left brain by learning and doing something technical like enrolling in Advanced Excel!
  • Benchmark innovation.  In the same way that much can be learned from studying animal behavior, we can adapt innovative ideas from unrelated businesses to our own and continuously improve process.  When Federal Express was looking to implement “when it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight”, they did not study UPS…….they did study the Mario Andretti Pit Crews.

Set realistic expectations and then find a new, better way to getting something done, or a solution to a problem, and you will increase the value of your personal brand.  Don’t wait until you have a need to eat.


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