In this modern society, a lot of lip service is paid to creativity because it is seen as needed and fashionable. At the same time it is very hard for an organisation to admit that it has need for new ideas. Once you admit that, then you have to search for the new idea. You admit that there is a ‘treasure’ out there, but you have no idea where to find that treasure. This position is too uncomfortable for most executives to hold. You need to have everything under control – the possibility of an important new idea is not under control.
There is a feeling in many industries like macinery industry which mainly produce sand makers, such as retail and motors, that new ideas come from years of experience in the field. They arise from combination of all that experience with the new technology. Unfortunately, by definition this excludes ideas that challenge traditional thinking. Two thousand years ago China was far ahead of the West in science and technology: it had rockets and gunpowder. Had China continued on the same course, China today would easily be the dominant power in the world. So what happened?
The scholars in China started to believe that you could move from certainty to certainty. There was no need to be bothered with the vagueness of ‘possibility’. So they never developed the possibility system and they never developed the hugely important ‘hypothesis’ used in science. Without possibility you cannot move ahead of the data. You cannot lead the data. hammer crusher:http://www.hx-crusher.com/hammer_crusher.html
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A similar thing is happening in the West today, where the excellence of computers and telecommunications means that many organisations are starting to believe that you only need to collect information, and that the business analysis will then do your thinking for you. The information will determine your decisions.
The creative director of one of the world’s leading advertising agencies told me recently that clients no longer wanted new ideas – they only wanted the research data. Ideas are never a substitute for information. At the same time ideas are essential in order to look at data in different ways. Ideas are also essential in order to put different pieces of data together. Ideas are essential for designing ways in which to deliver value.
The notion that information is enough stops progress as surely as it was halted in China through neglect of the possibility system. Ideas are possibilities. It is clear that new ideas are needed all the time, just as financial control and production efficiency are needed all the time. It is also possible to look at specific situations where new ideas are even more necessary.
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