Is there something to be seen in nothing? Is value inherent despite conditions? Have you ever found yourself asking those questions when stuck in the middle of a challenge? You have to create interest around a product with nothing specifically new or groundbreaking to speak of… You have a client that is stuck in the unfortunate reality of a struggling industry.
If you’re going through anything like that, these might be some of the questions you’re pondering. And if so, the answers may take something more than just creativity. They’re going to take vision.
Vision is seeing something in the nothing – and seeing it all the way through.
We’re quick to brandish our courage when it comes to our convictions but what about our vision? Cue the anecdote … When I was a kid, I remember watching an educational video about the World War II war effort that included clips of the Rosies who riveted and man and women on assembly lines in factories all across the country.
Those images defined “work” to me growing up. In my mind, it couldn’t get any better than blue collar and back yard barbecues on a suburban street.
Growing up in Michigan, seeing men and women on those lines was commonplace. We live in the city of Ford and GM and Chrysler. Even if you’re on the west coast of the state, cuddling up to the Windy City, there’s a sense of pride that comes from being born in the state that took the country by wheels and road.
Years later, a new picture of Detroit would emerge. Its downtown was virtually abandoned. Larger than life architectural structures stood gutted. Windows were broken out and the only thing filling old offices – natural light.
Now, all eyes are on Dan Gilbert, founder of Quicken Loans who wants to bring Detroit’s downtown back to life one business at a time. In a recent article for the Times, Gilbert’s quest to bring consumers, residents, workers and businesses back to downtown Detroit. It will be a mighty undertaking but what drew my attention to this story was the idea of vision.
It’s one thing to look at a blank canvas and imagine impressionism or the abstract. It’s another to look at something that has already been deconstructed into the dismal, broken down into blight and see possibility.
It’s the kind of thinking that leads to reinvention. The next time you’re stuck at an impasse or there seems to be no value in what you’re looking at. Take a walk, clear your mind and look again. You may just be on the verge of a new image, a new campaign a new destination for the task at hand.