What happens if a company determines that they want to encourage Creative Intelligence and Visionary Thinking in all their employees? What could possibly result from it?
Before I tell you who the company is and some of the results of the creative intelligence of the employees, I just want to say that imagine if all companies cultivated creative intelligence and vision?
And how about schools? Imagine if creative intelligence and visionary thinking was the guiding force behind the education process? (Hint: creative intelligence is not cultivated in the education process and is usually squashed.)
So if all companies—and schools—truly cultivated creative intelligence and vision, all I can say is: Wow! This would be a world of creative thinking visionaries, people who were willing to dream up big ideas and put them into practice.
It would be a world filled with people living a Low Density Lifestyle.
Ok, so now back to about that specific company. You may have heard of them. Their name: Google.
Google allows all employees to spend 20% of their time on whatever endeavors they fancy. They are totally allowed the free rein to do whatever they want with their work time, and to dream up ideas and then to see if they can come to fruition.
And this is why the folks at Google have created a cutting edge company that is never at a loss for new and fascinating ideas. By letting employees truly use their creative intelligence and by encouraging them to live a Low Density Lifestyle, they are a rich resource of original thinking.
How do I know Google encourages employees to live a Low Density Lifeestyle? Google offers a free dining facility for their employees that serves organic whole foods, offers free massage services to their employees and has places on their campus where employees can go to take a nap. These things are part of the 12 steps to attaining a Low Density Lifestyle.
And so, whether you are a technophile or technophobe, it’s worth checking out some of the really cool things Google employees have developed, thanks to the corporate climate of encouraging creative intelligence. It may not be your inclination to think up these kinds of things, but I just wanted to show you the possibility of what can be done, if it is cultivated and encouraged, in order to inspire you:
IGOOGLE: At iGoogle (google.com/ig), you can dress up all that white space with useful miniboxes containing additional info. Hundreds of useful displays are available: a clock, local weather, movie listings, incoming e-mail, news, daily horoscope, to-do list, Twitter updates and whatever-of-the-day (joke, vocabulary word, quotation, Bible verse and so on).
GOOGLE READER: Why spend your time finding and navigating to the Web sites that cover your favorite topics? They can all come to you — all nicely congregated on a single page, called Google Reader (reader.google.com).
You type in a topic, inspect the search results, and click the Subscribe buttons that look interesting. After that, Reader displays the first paragraph from each site or blog; click to read more. Star items to read later, or pass along your favorites to friends.
FLU TRENDS: Google figured out that whenever people get sick, they use Google to search for more information. By collating these searches, Google has created an early-warning system for flu outbreaks in your area, with color-coded graphs. Google says that Flu Trends (google.org/flutrends) has recognized outbreaks two weeks sooner than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has.
GOOGLE MAPS: You probably know this one, but it’s still worth pointing out (maps.google.com). Choose the directions you want: by car, by public transit or on foot. Drag the path line with your mouse around construction sites or down interesting streets. View current traffic conditions. Turn on Street View to see actual photographs of your destination.
GMAIL LABS: Gmail is already the world’s best free Web-based e-mail service, with terrific organization tools and a superb spam blocker. But if you click Settings and then Labs, you find a huge list of on/off switches for cool enhancements.
There’s Text Message in Chat (send text messages to your friends’ cellphones from within Google Chat or Gmail); Offline Mail (work on Gmail when you’re not online); Canned Responses (build a menu of stock answers to your mail); Multiple Inboxes (manages mail by auto-creating multiple mail folders); and Send & Archive (one click sends your reply and removes the original from the list).
TRANSLATOR: Translate any text or Web page to or from 40 languages (translate.google.com). It’s not perfect, but you’ll get the gist of that spam from Russia.
800-GOOG-411: Possibly the best voice-recognition cellphone service in existence. Call the number, say what you’re looking for (“comedy clubs, Chicago” or “Domino’s Pizza, Cleveland”), and Google’s auto-voice reads off the closest eight matches. You can speak the number of the one you want, and he’ll connect your call automatically — no charge. You never know or care what the phone number was; it’s like having a personal secretary.
Or you can say “text message” at any time to have the address and phone number zapped to your cellphone in one second.
GOOGLE SMS: Send a message to GOOGL (46645). In the body of the message, type the sort of information you want: weather report (“weather dallas”), stock quotes (“amzn”), movie showtimes (type “slumdog millionaire 44120”), definitions (“define schadenfreude”), directions (“miami fl to 60609”), unit conversions (“liters in 5 gallons”), currency conversions (“25 usd in euros”), and so on. Five seconds later, Google texts back the details.
GOOGLE SETS: At labs.google.com/sets, type in several items in a series (like “cleveland browns” and “dallas cowboys”); Google fleshes out the list with others like it (all the other football teams). Great when something’s on the tip of your tongue (a kind of fruit, president, car, holiday, currency) but can remember only something like it.
GOOGLE SCHOLAR: You can search all published academic papers at once, at scholar.google.com, for whatever subject you are interested in.
SECRETS OF THE SEARCH BOX: Usually, whatever you type into Google’s Search box is treated as a quest for Web pages. Certain kinds of information, however, get special treatment.
For example, you can type in an equation (like “23*9/3.4+234”); press Enter to see the answer.
Think of Google, too, for conversions. For example, type “83 yards in inches,” “500 euros in dollars,” or “grams in 3.2 pounds”; then press Enter.
The search box can also serve as a dictionary (type “define:ersatz”), package tracker (type your FedEx or U.P.S. tracking number), global Yellow Pages (“phonebook:home depot norwalk ct”), meteorologist (“weather san diego”), flight tracker (“AA 15”), stock ticker (“AAPL” or “MSFT”), and movie-listings (type “movies:10024,” or whatever your ZIP code is).
And there’s more, but that’s all space allows.
That’s one company with mega amounts of Creative Intelligence and Vision.
Come back tomorrow for a final article on Creative Intelligence and Vision. It will be a video that will move and inspire you.