Unleashing the Imagination

Earlier this week, I saw an article in the April 2006 issue of Wired magazine in which Will Wright, the creator of The Sims, makes the case that electronic games are a powerful means for unleashing the human imagination. While he acknowledges some of the negatives widely attributed to electronic games (violence, addictive nature, etc.), he makes a pretty compelling case that gaming provides actual benefits to society through the expansion of "creativity, community, self-esteem, and problem-solving."

In the interest of full disclosure…while Will Wright is legendary in the computer gaming world, my gaming "pedigree" pretty much begins and ends twenty some odd years ago with my pac man spinning uselessly in a corner with the "bad guy" ghosts looming — game over in less than a minute. All the while, my darling husband shaking his head in disbelief. It might have been the lowest score in the history of the game.

But in this article, here’s a guy speaking my language. I’m so intrigued I may even give one of the new generation of games a try. The "gamers mindset" as described  by Wright, just may be the hope of the future of an innovation economy. Here’s why…

Sudoku Teachings, Part 2

Today, I’m working on a puzzle I am finding particularly difficult. Truth to tell…I started it days ago and still haven’t finished it! I am completely stuck. I tried everything I knew to do and still no solution. My usual strategies had always been successful…until now. I keep moving the partially completed puzzle around as if being in a different physical space will cause the solution to magically appear. (Heck, sometimes that works for me — get out of the office for a little breather and shazam! a solution just pops up).

I was even ready to "cheat" by finding the printed solution and taking a quick peek for "inspiration."  I had my rationalization all ready — "It wasn’t really cheating
it was a new learning strategy:  start with the answer and work my way
back." I suppose it is no coincidence that I have found probably the only puzzle collection that does not include the answers neatly tucked "in the back" or "just a click away."  Then it struck me…suduko was ready to teach me a new lesson. Was I ready to learn?

The Power of A Good Story

I love a good story. Don’t you? Stories work on us, they take us places, and they let us plumb the depths of our wisdom for new ways to look at familiar challenges. Metaphors challenge, confound, entertain, and change us.

At any moment, we can choose to invoke the power of story to create a new result. As a coach, I frequently use stories and metaphor to help people move from being stuck, into practical action; from defining a situation as a problem, to seeing how it is a steppingstone. And stories and metaphor are everywhere. You can’t take a half a step in any direction without bumping into a whole bunch of them — in a book, a poem, a quote, a conversation, inspirational writings, a song, graffiti, a personal belief, a folk tale, a prayer, an email, a wish, a joke, a movie, a commercial, on a bumper sticker…heck, everything has a story just waiting to inspire you.