Thursday, 20 August 2009

Destroy Everything You Touch Today

Kali, the Creator / Destroyer

I was never that sure about destruction; right from the moment I first took an engine to pieces, dismantled every cog and nut, and then I realised that what I really wanted to do was put it all together and make it work.

Punk was very good at encouraging me to destroy things, and I suppose in my twenties I learned a lot about finishing things off and Moving On, and what good things you can do with anger, if you learn how. It was very wise of the Hindu religion to have a mother goddess who was also the goddess of destruction. But I never really learned to embrace destruction; it just seemed... well, too destructive.

I'm an innovation consultant now, and one of the Big Names in innovation is an economist called Josef Schumpeter, and he wrote about "waves of creative destruction" - a marvellous idea, that as part of making the world anew, there were all kinds of things that needed to be destroyed, and swept up and tidied away, because they had their day and served their purpose, and it was good that they make room for something new.

It reminds me of a story of a Budhhist monk who always drank out of a very nice cup; one day somebody said to him: "you're not supposed to get attached to possessions. Does it not bother you that one day that cup is going to break?" And the monk said: "I know that really, it's already been broken, so I just make sure that I enjoy it as much as I can."

This is my company song, and every morning, I want to come into my office and get the whole team to sing it.

When you stop worrying about whether something in your life might get broken, maybe that's the time to destroy it, and make room for something else.

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