The Innovation Blog

An UnBirthday Tribute

Posted by Creative Realities on March 10, 2011

Today is Shel Silverstein's unbirthday and to celebrate I am dedicating today's post to him.

When I was younger, my appetite for "everything Shel" was voracious: my check-out history at the library read like a bibliography of his work, I would save my allowance for weeks to buy my favorites of his hardcover books (which also doubled nicely as bookends for my paperbacks -- remember The Babysitter's Club?). Bottom line -- if Shel wrote it, drew it, or sang it, I was enthralled.

So it should come as no surprise that every now and then I troll the interwebs in search of a Silverstein poem or verse when I'm feeling nostalgic, or am trying to find words that reflect thoughts or feelings that I'm not able to express. This morning I happened to  find "Invitation", which was published in his 1974 instant classic, Where the Sidewalk Ends. Enjoy.

shel silverstein welcome resized 600

While this poem can mean something different to each person who reads it, to me it captures the very essence of one particular core belief of Creative Realities, which is the power of wild cards or thought provocateurs. From afternoon brainstorming sessions to full programs (e.g. ExperTease™ and TechMax™), they are invited specifically for their naiveté or for their natural tendency to think differently; to challenge the status quo. Because they are either technologically naive or specialists in other areas, they are free to ask the “dumb” questions that frequently break the log-jams. In other words, the value in having wild cards participate lies in the acceleration of information transfer and expanding perspectives about what is possible within an organization. When's the last time your company invited a bee keeper or a nunchuck expert to a strategy meeting?


Thank you for your ever-present wisdom, Shel. And happy unbirthday.cupcake


Posted by Amanda Hines, Associate Business Innovationist, @amandaehines

Topics: Amanda Hines, WildCards, creative thinking, Collaboration, brainstorming