The Tribune - Spectrum

, June 16, 2002

Letting intuition do its job
Chandra Mohan

Creativity in Business
Michael Ray and Rochelle Myers. Doubleday. Pages 222. $ 11.25

STRENGTH in creativity and innovation is the dream of every competitive society today. Therein lies the root of all economic and political power. Respect in the community also stems from it. This holds true for nations, businesses and industry. Unfortunately, no ready formulae and canned courses have yet been found to breed creativity in a scientific fashion. Stanford pioneered a course in this direction, and this is what Ray and Myers base their book on.

Creativity is within everyone. Every child in the innocence of his uncluttered untamed mind has it. He questions everything. He looks at the world, even the simplest of things, with a new and fresh eye. He explores. It is unfortunate that life and society fetter this curiosity over the years with their dogmas and beliefs. The crux is to retain that innate curiosity through the years and let that Inner Essence flower and bloom unfettered.

Discovery of that Inner Essence begins by surrendering yourself. And letting go. It is not quitting. It is to let go all emotional attachment and let the inner mind loose. Let things take their course and keep raising dumb questions. The first Japanese lesson in TOM is to question everything a minimum of four times. In this free-roaming, the haze soon disappears and answer comes loud and clear. Innamori of Kyocera fame had put it across beautifully: "Let the waves sing to you; just listen to that faraway tune of your inner mind." This is not far different from the oft-repeated belief that man’s most creative moments are when he is dreamy, half-asleep half-awake; in the early mornings he rolls in bed.


Just let your mind wander. Move through time. Move through space. Experience colours. Materialise objects. Feel sensations. Taste things. Hear sounds. Feel emotions. Do the forbidden. In this free roaming you will suddenly find that a new idea is born.

Which is your best time to let go? What is it that puts you in that frame of mind? Where? Recognise those moments and cultivate them carefully. Multiply them. Many years ago, I discovered that the best time for me was early morning, when the entire house was asleep. It was still dark outside and there was pin-drop silence. And, dining table was the place. I make tea for myself and it goes by pot-fulls. There is no counting by measly cups. I read; I plan; I think. I have never sacrificed those three hours for the last 40 years. And that is what makes my day.

Unfettered curiosity is the mother of creativity. Judgment and pre-decision its greatest destroyer. And, this pre-decisioning need not come from others, it could even be your own. "No. Impossible. Cannot be Done." These are the easiest words to say. They require no thinking, no effort. But the damage is permanent. You have shuttered out your mind for ever. Innovation begins only by challenging the past. Questioning judgments. Making what is, look ridiculous."

The Mandala of the Sufi’s (figure given) neatly maps these basic elements of body and mind...Let these elements loose and play their own tune. The basic issue in creativity is to empty your cup. Stop worrying. Rank your tasks. Break the task into small pieces. Do one thing at a time. Know when to quit. Make a game of it. You will soon discover the jig-saw puzzle filling in.

Intuition and creativity invariably go together. Intuition complements reason. It is unemotional. It is also mistake-free. Inculcate it. It will lead you towards correct actions.

The ultimate issue in creativity is to be yourself. Do what is easy. Do what is emotional. Do what is enjoyable. ‘EEE’, the acronym coined by Ray and Myers for these three prime tonics of creativity is interesting. This is a book which draws you to reading it.