It’s Difficult To Draw An Original Rose!

Creative Guru looked intently at the young manager. "Gentleman, read that thing very carefully! This guy Matisse is amazing, he has almost given us the secret of creative geniuses!"

The young manager read every single word again-

"There is nothing more difficult 
for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose,
because before he can do so, he has first to forget
all the roses that were ever painted".

The young man didn't say a word. He knew when the guru stops blinking, he should keep mum. This is the moment to listen. Just listen. 

Guru continued, "When  common people are faced with a problem, or an opportunity, the first thing they do is go and see what others have done? What worked for other people in these circumstances?  And they get into a trap! They start labeling things, one thing becomes type A and the other one type B. It's difficult to create something new with all those impressions cluttering your mind".

The young manager remembered so many instances where he did the same thing. In fact his boss tells him to go and find out case studies and examples of the similar nature. And it helped.

He couldn't help asking, "What about the industry bench-marks? Success stories? Should we not learn from them?"

Guru smiled. "Bench marks! Who created them? The geniuses who went before you. Those who took risks, failed, and then made corrections to get the results. What they learnt and shared are industry bench marks. It's already done. If you want to create something new, listen to Matisse! Look to the situations with fresh eyes! You will observe new things which others might have not seen. You will look at  it, not with other people's filters but your own point of view.

If you want to follow others those benchmarks will surely help you. But not if you want to create a breakthrough. It will get you the most effective imitator award, but never the glory of innovation!"

The young man understood the deeper inference. But something was still niggling inside, "I understand, but..."

Guru gestured him to go on. 

"Why you said almost? What Mr Mattisse missed?"

Guru guffawed, "My dear son! Bloody guy didn't tell you how to forget all those roses!"

And then he added, "That's why you are here!"


Puneet Bhatnagar is a business innovator, creativity and innovation coach. He is a columnist and author who writes on creativity and innovation. He has trained 1000's of people from all walks from life--From CEOs, CFOs, R&D experts, Engineers, Marketing and Advertising experts, News editors...And combat fighters too!

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