This is not your typical automotive article, but sometimes it’s good to shift
gears – so here goes!
Regardless of what type of vehicle you prefer to drive, you are likely aware
that today’s automotive environment is to say the least – challenging.
From the Big Three reorganizing to marquee names such as Mercedes and
Porsche having the road shift from underneath them, automotive times are
Automakers of all stripes are putting brain power into determining their
next move and formulating their longer term plans. In these times, automakers
are being called to think creatively outside the box! Thus, vehicle innovations
that would have been delayed or may not have come to the market at all, will
become a reality. What is reality anyway? Is reality what we make of it?
Now, back to the title of this article. Can being like today’s automakers
(creative) be useful to you? Well, let’s consider it! Most people have
never run an automobile company, and I am not talking about the hands
on operation. I am asking you to consider the creative end of it as related
to today’s automotive environment.
Your creativity might be seen in the vehicle you drive and such is certainly
something to consider. However, I am referring to the broader sense of
creativity as in making your life the best it can be.
As these are challenging economic times, creativity can be very useful
indeed! For example, some people have been laid off from their jobs and
some ended up taking somewhat of an opportunity to do something they really
like and are passionate about. In certain instances, they have had great success
and ended up feeling fortunate about an ‘unfortunate’ event. In other words,
they would have never tried such and such if they were in their old predictable
job, etc. Such success was likely due in a large part to their creativity.
A good friend from my youth (he also has a great interest in cars) was diagnosed
with Transverse Myelitis (TM). He and his wife had been on a trip to Canada
and upon returning, they stopped at his mother’s house for a visit and to spend
the night. When in bed, he experienced some warmness in his legs. After an
hour, the sensation got worse and he could not walk. He when to the hospital
locally and then returned home where he was diagnosed. He has been through
physical therapy and now he is starting to walk again. Although he does not like
what happened, he has met many people who have the same condition (people
he would have not met otherwise) and he has started do work on web sites (again,
meeting people he would have not met).
One woman with TM was bound to her home. She started painting glass and
making jewelry with it, something she enjoyed a great deal. People liked what
she was creating. Now her jewelry is in high demand and it has become quite
a business! There is only one way she ended up in such a business, and creatively
embracing her situation had a lot to do with it!
We are all familiar with what great business sense Donald Trump has.
However, Trump states that creativity is very important. He has the ability
to creatively imagine what can be done with a landscape or a property to be
remodeled. He said that when he was at the Wharton Business School in
Philadelphia, his professors would lecture and Trump would go out and put
the information into practice on the street.
Psychology Today suggests, “When we think of creativity, we think of
Mozart, Picasso, Einstein – people with a seemingly fated convergence of talent
and opportunity. It’s too narrow a set of references, because the truth is that all
sorts of people, possessing various levels of intelligence and natural ability, are
capable of engaging in fulfilling creative processes. Just because you’ll never be
Brando or Balanchine (you may indeed be even more! – mine added) doesn’t mean
that you can’t harness your idea-generating power and make your life your own
Just as today’s automakers will open up their minds to new ideas and opportunities,
the same can apply to us all in today’s world. The automakers are admitting that
they can indeed do things differently. In other words, they have stopped closing
their minds to what ‘is possible.’ Can you look at things differently? Can you put
concepts together from various subjects or disciplines or oven from things that
seem to oppose each other?
In the automotive world, enthusiasts traditionally favored a manual transmission
to get the best performance from a vehicle, to have maximum involvement in the
driving experience, and to usually gain the best gas mileage. Then came along
Porsche’s seven-speed PDK dual-clutch transmission. It can be driven as an
automatic or shifted ‘manually’ with buttons on the steering wheel. No automatic
slushbox here as its gears bite and hookup like a manual. The 0-60 mph time is
said to be quicker than what a driver can do with the manual transmission, and it
also uses less fuel. Diehard traditional manual transmission drivers are saying
they may well take the PDK over the manual gearbox. Opposing ideas, mixing
the best of an automatic with a manual, and challenging the mindset that great
driving means a manual transmission. Yet, creativity was the foundation of
Porsche’s new PDK transmission!
So, in today’s world, rather than seeing something as a setback, creativity
can make something an invigorating challenge and even a great opportunity.
If the automakers can be creative – why not consider its possibilities for you?
Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price…” He
welcomes your comments or car questions at his auto web site: