I was on a plane recently that was taking off from Newark. As we taxied along the runway, a little girl behind me said,
“Mommy! Is that New York City? Are we going to fly over it?” Without missing a beat, she added, “Imagine if we flew under it!”
I was amazed. How did she do that? How did she so effortlessly veer from the real to the fantastic? Let’s fly under New York!
As someone who spends a lot of time coaxing people to think outside the box, I’ve developed a great appreciation for the power of envisioning the impossible, of flying free of constraints--or devising solutions within ridiculous constraints.
This gift we have, of imagination, of seeing beyond what is to what might, perhaps, in some alternate state of the world, be possible, brings us the joy of exploration and the delight of making something better than it was. But it stands in constant tension with our desire for safety, for comfort, for the familiar and routine.
It takes a certain vigilance to hold that creative space within ourselves and our organizations. We have to keep cracking open the doors to let the crazy ideas slip in and shape us.
Let’s fly under New York.