One day, after seeing an episode of Curious George in which George dressed up as a robot, Logan decided he wanted to do the same thing. After he came home from work, Brian was able to fashion a robot suit for Logan out of a cardboard box, kitchen strainer and some magic marker.
Brian was amazed at the amount of fun a kid could have with simple objects laying around the house. The suit didn’t plug into the TV, it didn’t have flashing lights, it didn’t make sounds, but it became one of Logan’s favorite toys as a toddler.
To Brian, there was a lesson in it all, about stimulating creativity in both children and adults, as Brian relates in Chapter 11, “Making Robots.”
Too often, in our work and personal lives, we become obsessed with what is next, with the new thing that is bigger, better, faster and just plain cooler than the current thing. If you have an iPhone and your friend buys the next-generation iPhone, you want the next-generation iPhone too. It does more. If the guy in the next office waltzes in the door with a tablet computer, you wonder why you’re still lugging around a laptop looking for remote Internet access — even though your laptop isn’t even a year old.
I’m all for progress, but I’m also in favor of developing new perspectives. Sometimes, the answer to a problem isn’t to spend more money on a new gadget or to hire a consultant to revamp your whole system. It’s to take what you have and utilize it in a different way…
… Change requires tearing down the wall that exists between the known and the unknown, the comfortable and the uncomfortable, the tried and the untried. The suggestion of that much change doesn’t sit well with anyone, so the person who was bold enough to speak up gets dismissed, ignored or even shouted down.
In the long run, your competitors pass you up, and you realize the change-agent who spoke up was right. But you, as the king, and all of your men were intolerant. You resisted the risk of change and the idea of creativity. And now you’re paying the price.