Sunday, September 29, 2013

The true power of Innovation is it uplifts the spirit

Today a young man walked into my office and was so depressed. He bemoaned the fact that politics and the next election was just so depressing. He told me a terrible story about people in the rural areas having to eat cow dung because they had no food but they still have to take their HIV medication. He was depressed about crime and about everything else. So we started chatting about possible new ideas and changing negative stories into positive stories. He bemoaned the fact that he had no money for Lobola. For those who don't know what lobola is it is a fee paid by the wanna be husband to the family's father. The amount will differ and its often a secret. So I asked him if there was a savings program run by men for men who needed to save for Lobola. Not that he knew, he said. So I said start the movement and see what happens. His face lit up and I could see that he could see that he thought how this could be turned into a great business opportunity with a great social purpose. He even mentioned how he could purchase a farm and start savings of cows for lobola as the Zimbabwean banks have done quite successfully.
As his mood softened he showed me a picture in the newspaper of 4 black workers with masks on their faces of monkeys and baboons superimposed by a computer. Look he said. This is what truly depresses me...the racism. I said...Yes it is racist but lets turn it around and create a business out of it that could be fun and positive. So he did. He superimposed crazy funny faces on some corporate employees that were not intrusive at all...just fun. And everyone loved it. He came to me and thanked me about uplifting his spirit when all around him things seemed negative.
I know that innovation has the power to make life better in its own crazy way. This makes my life very enriching and this is the comment I most hear. Wouldn't everyone love to get this feedback while they work all the time.