A New Project or Task
When you start a new project or task do you tend to pick up the last one you did and use it as a template? The last report, the last design, the last piece of code if not in total in part.
There is nothing wrong with building on successful designs and artefacts but what if you chose a different path. What if you chose the path less trodden and came up with something really new?
Here’s One I Prepared Earlier
You will always have your accumulated knowledge and experience to work with, but could you get better results if you started from a clean sheet? Often time pressures mean we just pull something out of the drawer in a Blue Peter, ‘here’s one I prepared earlier’ fashion. So if you were freed from deadlines, or at least gave yourself a time buffer to experiment with, how comfortable would you be with a totally blank canvas?
Engineers, Scientists and Creativity
I am an engineer by background and I have always been fascinated by the difference between engineers and scientists. I was drawn to engineering, my father and brother were both engineers before I really understood what one was. Einstein put it so well with, “Scientists investigate that which already is; Engineers create that which has never been”.
So for me the fundamental difference is creativity. Engineering is based on applied science but with added creativity to give the power to create new and innovative things.
So as an engineer you shouldn’t ever be afraid to start with a blank canvas otherwise you will just get better, or sloppier, at the same thing.
If you are a scientist, you must be objective and build on and hypothesise on facts alone, anything else would destroy credibility and cause the cathedral of scientific knowledge to collapse.
Take the Path Less Trodden
So if you are an engineer, next time you start a new project or task try a different path, review what you have done before then set it aside as experience.
Start with a clean sheet, a sharp pencil and a sharp brain. You will be surprised at the innovative solutions you come up with.
Solutions which could just differentiate your business in the marketplace and give you the unique edge to steal a march on your competitors.