Taking stock with Archimedes

12 November 2014

Ever had one of those ‘Eureka moments‘? One of the ones when you realise something which should have been blindingly obvious…. Well, today has quite simply been full of them!

Apparently there is a reason why inspiration often strikes when you are in the shower or driving to work: ‘Eureka moments’ happen when your mind is relaxed. Special relativity occurred to Albert Einstein while ‘riding a streetcar’ home one day and Philo Farnsworth realised how an electrical television could work when he was ploughing a potato field. Moments of inspiration rarely happen while sitting in an office swivel chair…. [and although I do have the luxury of a rather lovely ensuite shower, the ‘drive to work’ does not exist unless you include the physical nature of walking from the kitchen to the office which is possibly around 30-40 paces/steps.]

By definition, the creative side of our brain does not work linearly or logically. Creativity is not formulaic. It just requires a single ingredient: comfort, so few people experience ‘Eureka moments’ while under pressure or when in discomfort. Although business leaders understand that creativity in the office is important to developing new products and business solutions, many of these leaders do not follow through by designing comfortable workspaces to help foster creativity.

So today, I went to a networking meeting …. A recurring theme this week, if truth be told, having been to one yesterday and with another one in the diary for Friday. But this morning was different. I didn’t feel great when I woke up. In fact, it felt like I had a hangover despite the fact, I had not been drinking last night. Weird. 

So, I rock up and I am greeted warmly by a photographer I have met once before – but only once, mind. It’s 7:45am and it is quite frankly precipitating at a rate which makes being our mutual chirpyness somewhat miraculous. The room quickly fills with well over twenty fellow business people and I touch base with some familiar faces (i.e. individuals I have met before) and others who are new to me. Muesli and fruit later, I introduce myself to the room in 40 seconds. How is that long enough to tell people everything we do at FWL? Well, it isn’t, clearly. But it is enough to engage three individuals enough to want to talk further during the 10 minute one-to-one sessions…. A thoroughly engaging morning – as yesterday was also – both of which I could blather on about for another several paragraphs (but I won’t).

During the course of the morning meeting, I was delighted to receive a text message (panic not – phone on silent!) from another local business owner, checking we were all set for our lunch appointment. ‘Of course. Look forward to seeing you!’, I replied and, having returned briefly to the office, trotted off to Costa Coffee for a catch-up. Well, I thought it was just a catch-up, though it transpired that he had some work for us at FWL – what a lovely added bonus!

Networking has quite simply been ‘ripping’, ‘terrific’, ‘splendiferous’ this week already but it has been the journey(s) home (see above) which have delivered my ‘Eureka moment(s)’. Why do I keep doing X (activity) which adds no value to my existence? Why haven’t we done X (activity) which could potentially prove very profitable to us at FWL? Why have I not realised that X (activity) causes Y to occur as a direct result? 

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve worked just as hard today (and just as long hours). However, I now have a much better sense of perspective – with thanks to Archimedes. Watch out: changes afoot….

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