Channel your inner Fred…

Innovation comes in all shapes and sizes.  I think in this day and age we view innovation mostly from a technology mindset.  But innovation can materialize in many ways.  It happens when we create what never was or change what was.

Today I met an innovator named Fred.  Fred is a faculty member at UND who I was in a workshop with today.  Fred’s regular computer had some issues so Fred had to bring an older Dell laptop to work on today.  I have an old one just like it around here so I can tell you that as far as laptops go it is a bit of a dinosaur.

Fred’s dinosaur struggled.  It got very warm and its little fan just couldn’t seem to keep it cool.  Most folks would have resigned themselves to turning off the computer until it rested and cooled down.  That is what I would have done…but not Fred.  Fred innovated. 

Fred created a cooling system for his laptop right then and there at the table with items he found in the room (in the NDSU Memorial Union Great Plains Room to be exact).  He was nothing short of a computer MacGyver – four coffee cups filled with ice and he was back in business.

Fred is an innovator.  He ran into a problem and he came up with a solution.  Others may spend their days in amazement over the newest smartphone innovation, but me – I’ll take innovators like Fred.  Fred reminds that in an increasingly complex world innovation doesn’t always have to be a complex gizmo or gadget that took years to create…innovation can still be as simple as four coffee cups filled with ice. 

So look around folks at things you would like to address or change and innovate creatively – channel your inner Fred.  Now that you know how to cool down an older Dell laptop  the world is your oyster. ;-)

Day eight hundred and fifty-one of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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4 Responses to Channel your inner Fred…

  1. Miki T-B says:

    I was raised to be a problem solver and a creative thinker…use what you have and adapt things so you can fix what needs to be fixed; adjust/adapt the list in your head when you can’t find what you need when you’ve got a project in mind; look at items with a different eye when you’re in need of a specific item and can’t find exactly what matches the picture in your head.

    I have so much creativity running around in my head that it has to go somewhere (!) and I like the feeling of creative victory I get when I do come up with a solution to whatever problem/situation I’m facing.

  2. Avatar of jimlindlauf jimlindlauf says:

    Fred is also a runner in Grand Forks, who I’ve had the pleasure to run with a few times. There must be some relationship between exercise and creativity, don’t you think? Of course, your awesome creativity and lack of exercise would cause my theory to be thrown out the window. Oh well…

  3. Stan says:

    Fred is my hero.

    I used to make a living by making something work by some oddball use of materials after the expensive engineers quit. They were the nice guy type of engineers, smaller egos, so they thanked me and went down to deposit their paycheck anyway.

  4. Barbara says:

    High fives to Fred—only the brightest innovators come up with such simple and obvious solutions. The rest of us overthink and overstress instead.
    We live in a real hotspot of Fred-type innovators—farm country. (Television, for example, was invented by a farm boy.)
    I live with an innovative Fred-ricka! My daughter can solve an amazing number of problems with her favorite toys: wood pieces, Gorilla Glue, duct tape, cable ties, straightened wire hangers, etc. Last Halloween she built a huge Frankenstein “person” from odds and ends of wood blocks, hanger wire and other assorteds. I hope her Fredness rubs off on me!

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