One of my favorite holiday movies is Miracle on 34th Street. Part of the plot revolves around a Doris Walker (a mom) who has raised her daughter Susan to be sensible and not believe in “myths” like Santa Clause.
In one scene, Kris Kringle is discussing with Susan how she doesn’t like to play with the other kids in the apartment building because they play silly games. Kris realizes that Susan lacks imagination and the ability to pretend. He takes a few minutes to explain to her what imagination is…
“Do you know what the imagination is?”
“Oh, sure that’s when you see things, but they’re not really there.”
“Well, that can be caused by other things too! No, to me the imagination is a place all by itself. A separate country.
Now you’ve heard of the French nation, the British nation, well this is the Imagi-Nation. It’s a wonderful place.
How would you like to make snowballs in the summer time? Eh? Or drive a great big bus down Fifth Avenue? How would you like to have a ship all to yourself that makes daily trips to China and Australia? How would you like to be the Statue of Liberty in the morning, and in the afternoon, fly south with a flock of geese?”
Susan nods her head wanting to know more.
“Very simple. Of course, it takes practice. Now the first thing you’ve got to learn is how to pretend…”
One of the ways to create breakthrough ideas when problem solving and brainstorming is to forget convention and what exists… As Santa suggests… Use your imagination! Pretend and make believe a newer, better way exists.