What if empowerment depends on the imagination skills of people?

Recently, I started a discussion in the LinkedIn Group Innovation Democracy by asking:

What if empowerment depends on the imagination skills of people?

Here are the thoughts I shared and extracts from the Group’s reactions. I hope you’ll find these interesting for your work or research.

When I look back at the projects I managed over the last three years, which mainly evolve around SMEs that want to be present on social media, take on CSR and run campaigns around meaningfulness, I see a red line in that what holds the projects back from succeeding (fast) is their lack of
1. imagination to write & speak freely
2. dare-power to do something differently then the rest.

Hence, my question whether others in this group notice the same and see a link with a possible (too) slow pick up on empowerment and democracy opportunities to drive innovation?

And, as a follow up question, is this a situation that appears only in developed countries and perhaps less in developing countries as the latter will have a more natural drive (less to no money but more imagination?) to innovate as for them it may be a matter of life and dead?

So, what if empowerment depends on the imagination skills of people, will developing countries have an emotional capital with which they can become more innovative than the developed world?

Looking forward to responses from people in this network.



“People in business organizations typically see weak signals in areas their expertise is slightest. For instance, engineers in Nokia tend to see radical changes in customers’ behavior whereas for them tecchnology does not make radical jumps.”

“It’s easier to be imaginative when you deal with matters which are not your business or your field.”

“Imagination is often the constraint in people’s ability to engage and envision.”

“On developed structures of a functioning society we hardly see someone to dare-power to do something differently then the rest.”

To these thoughtfull reactions I’d like to add a phrase from Zeldin’s An Intimite History of Humanity from the chanpter ‘Why there has been more progress in cooking than in sex’: “Every people puts its own scent on its food, and it accepts change only if it can conceal the change form itself, by smothering each novelty in its scent. Optimism about change, whether in politics, economics or culture, is only possible if this premise is accepted.”