The Innovation Blog

Quake it up!

Posted by Creative Realities on August 24, 2011

I’m sitting in the middle of our weekly staff meeting listening to the many updates and insights being shared by our team of innovationists when suddenly, from the back of the room, comes the calm but concerned voice of a co-worker saying, “Aaahh, is anyone else noticing that the room is moving?” A quick look around by all of us and it is clear that the room IS moving. In fact, the whole building is moving. Excitedly, someone suggests, “This is an earthquake!”  Unsure what to do, we all just sit there.  (Probably not our wisest move, but typical of inexperienced east coasters). A few moments later, I glance up and notice the slow swaying of the building is creating a not-so-slow swaying of the light fixture above my head.  I quickly jump up and move toward the door. The others, unsure of the reasons for my sudden movements, sense an emergency, and do the same. We head outdoors and immediately log in to Twitter, Facebook, and other similar sites to get confirmation from all social sources that we did, in fact, just experience an earthquake.  Now, this might not be the most noteworthy earthquake experience, but it did truly impact me.

Once we felt comfortable making our way back into the 4 story brick and mortar building (side note: this building definitely would have fallen pretty quickly in any remotely substantial quake) I sat down at my desk and realized this was not your typical day. I may never experience what I just experienced again in my lifetime. This completely changed the rest of my afternoon.  I could not immediately pinpoint what it was, but I got more done that afternoon and felt more motivated than one ever should late on a Tuesday afternoon. I wanted to do, I wanted to create, I wanted to change. It also got me thinking…

To any East Coasters out there that were feeling a bit stale, let the earthquake be a welcome wake up call.  Sure we can (and should) explore the geological causes and implications of the unusual quake that just struck half the coast, but in the meantime let's focus on what we can draw from the experience...

Whatever you do on a day-to-day basis, or are strategizing for in the future, the message couldn’t be clearer; it’s time to shake things up! Do it differently. Come at it from a different angle. Take the path less traveled. It shouldn’t take an earthquake for us to realize that inspiration and innovation do not come from doing things the same way.  They come from the spontaneity and unpredictability of a process or a path in which you don’t already know where you are going to end up.  Here at Creative Realities, we are constantly preaching the value of an unconventional approach, and I can’t resist this opportunity to remind everyone how shaking things up is truly a key part of being innovative.

-Tamara Wickramasinghe

Topics: Tamara Wickramasinghe, Quake, Innovation