Intentional Creativity


Intentional Creativity, or “I‘m just not the creative type”.

The flaw in this statement which many of us have probably made in some variant is that, at some level, we are all creative.  At some point, we had that “childlike curiosity” but it somehow faded along the way.  As adults, we probably have simply let our creativity lapse.  We became too analytical, too much of a perfectionist, too busy, etc., etc.

I originally started this blog in 2012, but let it become dormant and then removed access to it in 2014 after a change in jobs.  In doing so, a significant part of my personal creativity went into atrophy.  I am re-starting this blog in an effort to be “intentionally creative”.  The revived blog will have a different focus than my prior writings, in fact I have largely removed my prior content.  I expect to start out slow at first, but as ideas occur, I will write about them and share them on this blog.  I will endeavor to become more active in posting new ideas as time allows.  I have rebranded the blog as “Ray’s Ruminations”.

My approach will be to make time to consider random ideas that occur to me and then to write about them.  This is something we all experience, but I have not intentionally thought about and pursued those ideas to their logical fruition.  Taking time to nurture creativity and then critically pursuing ideas is something we should all do. I will focus on the possibilities and potential of my ideas and not on why they might be impractical or simply may not work.  I hope that anyone reading my ruminations will provide me with feedback, or share their own similar experiences.  This will be time spent in solitude -thinking, away from cell phones, internet, people, TV, radio.

To move past any “analysis paralysis” it is important to take that first step – to just do something, which is what I am doing here by re-starting this blog.  It is literally as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.  I will keep it simple, especially at first.  I expect to present incrementally better writing as I proceed, but I always prefer simplicity to complexity.  A significant part of my career has been spent reducing complexity whenever practical and appropriate.

One final point is that all my ideas aren’t good and I never will expect them to be.  The best creative people are “idea machines” and many, if not most, of their ideas are impractical.  However, a key factor is that they continue to generate ideas and that the impractical and bad ideas are part of the process to get to the really good and possibly great ideas.  I hope to generate a few great ideas along the way.

Thank you for reading this re-start post.


Ray – July 9, 2016




HP 12C

I was using my HP12C calculator yesterday and I realized that it is the same calculator I have owned since 1986.  In a time when we have come to view computers and related technology as things that become technically obsolete in 3-5 years, then thrown away and replaced by a newer, faster and cheaper device, I realized that I use the same calculator that I purchased over 25 years ago!  Further, it works great and I do not believe that there is a financial calculator on the market today that is more widely used than the venerable HP12C.  I actually have 3 of these calculators: the original purchased for around $75 in 1986 was manufactured in the USA; the other two are a brushed aluminum HP12C Platinum model and a HP12C Platinum “25th Anniversary Edition” dated 2006, indicating that the first models were made in 1981.  Both of the Platinum models were manufactured in China and purchased a few years ago at about the same $75 price.  I guess that some things are truly – ‘built to last’!

It’s All about the Relationship!

In business, as in the rest of life, relationships matter.  We generally agree this is true.  We are also very aware that the day-to-day reality is that we spend our time working on specific projects, requests, and resolving problems for our customers.  Very few of us explicitly spend our time on what we would call “relationship building”.  We are not talking about playing golf or attending sporting events with customers – although these stereotypical notions of relationship building are valid in certain circumstances.  We are talking about spending time with customers in conversation to learn what is important to them in their relationship with us.  These conversations are crucial to knowing how to relate to each customer individually.  This avoids the “one size fits all” customer relationship model.  We define a customer as someone who depends on us for products or services.