A couple of weeks ago, I shared a photo of a real estate listing in Korea and the story of the blind men and the elephant. These were both meant to emphasize the point that perspective is really important. A few days ago I came across an article from Inc. that continues to strengthen my opinion that being able to assume different perspectives is extremely beneficial.
This particular article had to do with Leonardo da Vinci — a famous polymath from the 15th and 16th centuries. The article was illustrating the different ways that da Vinci could teach the reader about creativity. The lede for this article:
The Italian master had skill and great ideas, but he also had something else: the ability to look at the world around him differently.
Here’s the two “things” that I think highlight this point:
Diversity is critical for creativity and innovation, which is why it’s important to seek out points of view different from your own.
“The problem is the more senior someone becomes the more likely they’re going to believe their own publicity and surround themselves with people who always agree with them. So the more senior you become, the more concerted effort you must make to seek out different opinions. Then you have a chance to think independently,” Gelb says.
Make New Connections
Logical and linear-thinking types–engineers, analysts, and scientists, for example–can have a hard time looking for patterns and new connections, but doing so is the key to creativity.
Again, Gelb likes to use mind mapping, although it take a while to train these kinds of folks since they’re used to doing things in a formal order.
“At first it feels very messy… thinking through association and letting the mind go free and generating lots of key words and other images in different directions,” he says.
So, if you won’t take my word that seeing things from a new perspective is important, will you take da Vinci’s word?