The pamphlet called, “Common Sense” was an instant best-seller, both in the colonies and in Europe and some even go so far as to credit it with sparking the American Revolution. It was originally published anonymously by Thomas Paine in January of 1776. It is a creative look at government and the people of society and some of Paine’s most creative writing.
I would say that my creativity has come in handy throughout my life but it is my common sense that has helped me to lead a rewarding life and even saved me on occasion. Don’t get me wrong, I love being creative and I do believe that the creative types are what makes life exciting but creativity without common sense can lead to complications. Let me give you an example of this.
The opportunity arose for me to fill a new position in the 1990’s with one of the top Medical Products Companies in the world. The position involved working with the R&D team as a Business Facilitator for new products. These designers and engineers were some of the most innovative, highly educated and creative folks that you could ever hope to meet. I loved my time that I spent working alongside of them but sometimes they were so analytical and creative that they lacked simple common sense.
The Design team had developed an innovative new product that was expected to take the medical community by storm. The product had received all of the appropriate approvals and design modifications. The business plan was already approved and the marketing efforts were proceeding nicely with press releases and trade shows in full swing.
One week before the launch, the shipping boxes arrived and the product didn’t fit properly in the box. I watched the designers struggle and agonize for almost two days as they brainstormed everything from modifying the product, modifying the shipping boxes to lessening the packaging material inside the box so that the product would fit properly.
Finally, I could stand it no longer and simply asked them, “Why not just get new shipping boxes?”
We did get new boxes, the product shipped and the rest is history. The R&D Team even won a medical products award for the most innovative product that year. I secretly called it “The product that almost didn’t ship!”
Sometimes being overly creative can kill you and you just have to interject a bit of common sense to save the day. Thinking outside-of-the-box you have been handed helps, too.