Creativity Kiosk: Do your meal habits reveal your attitude towards creativity?


Watch what you eat – it might reveal more than you think it does!

There’s an old story that Edison (or Henry Ford or JC Penney depending upon the story) always believed in taking the people he was thinking of hiring out to lunch. When the soup arrived, he would sit back and watch. Those that tasted the soup before salting it, he wouldn’t immediately cross them off his list. Instead, he would ask them questions and keep an open mind about their possibilities. However, anyone who salted his soup before tasting it wasn’t worth his salt.

Why wouldn’t he hire these people? Because Edison believed these individuals had blinders on when it came to looking at life – they had too many assumptions about what was possible and what wasn’t. After all, they assumed the soup needed salt before they tasted it.

Over the last little while, I’ve been thinking about this. Partly because I HATE it when I have people over for dinner and they won’t try something new (and there’s a lot of people like that in my neighbourhood). I wonder how can they tell they won’t like something if they’ve never tried it? Are these picky eaters indeed less creative?

Let’s face it, creativity involves risk. You cannot separate the two. Creative people are just more open to risk. They hate routine. They want to try new things, to experiment.

So perhaps Edison (or Ford or JC Penney) was right – that you can tell a lot about a man by when he salts his soup. It’s interesting to think about.

The morale of the story: the next time you’re invited to lunch by management or a perspective new boss, hold the salt until after you taste the soup!

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