Will this be your Golden Age?

Your golden age - image for article by Greg Alder

Imagine it’s 3016. People are looking at the history the world. They are examining your place (or your company’s or your community’s place) in it.

They are looking back to this year, 2016, at what is regarded as the birth of your Golden Age. They are studying the decisions, achievements or events that were the catalyst for this blossoming.

Because we’re imagining things a thousand years from now, let’s also imagine that you have the power to determine what markers will define your Golden Age.

So how would you define this great period?

Would you define your Golden Age as a period of enormous profitability? That’s a perfectly acceptable marker. Venice’s Golden Age was one of great wealth.

So where did this profitability come from? Were more people clamouring for your services and products? Why? What made them so special? So desirable?

Was your profitability the result of IP? IP is another way you might define your Golden Age. In his Golden Age, Thomas Edison held thousands of patents.

How did your intellectual properties come about? Were you solving problems in powerful proprietorial ways? Ways that no-one else could copy? Did you change the way products were constructed? Or packaged? Or applied? What innovation made them unique? Why were you granted a patent?

Talking of innovation, could this be your marker for a Golden Age? Is your Golden Age a period of great and sustained invention? Were you better than others at bringing breakthroughs to market? Doing that over a period of time would certainly indicate a Golden Age.

Hold on a moment.

Where did these innovations come from? If IP is the end product of innovation, and innovation is the process of implementing ideas, surely something kickstarted the process?

If you decided that profitability or IP or innovation were the characteristics that define your Gold Age, you’re missing the element that makes each of these possible.

Creativity.

Ideas.

Without them you have no great wealth, no IP and no innovation.

So your Golden Age started with an idea.

The next question, then. How did you ignite this creativity?

You started by creating a fertile environment in which ideas flourished.

You surrounded yourself with creative minds from diverse fields.

You showed those around you how to unleash their inner creativity.

You provided them with dedicated creative thinking time.

You equipped them with the tools to create on demand.

You allowed them to fail in order to succeed.

A Golden Age starts with the flicker of an idea. Followed by another. And another. And another. It’s a creative fire. You have the power to start that fire.

Imagine being acknowledged in a thousand years as the person who launched the Golden Age of Smith & Partners or Smith City.

A crazy idea? Every great invention started life as a crazy idea.

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