Creativity and New Thinking (learning to hunt on a runway)

In a game reserve on the border between North-West South Africa and Botswana I have come learn of an extraordinary pride of lionesses. These lionesses have learned to adapt, using both their natural and man-made environment to their best advantage. Our Game Ranger told us the pride is known as the “Bakwena” pride. The Bakwena are a Sotho/Tshwana tribe found in Southern Africa. The name means, “People of the Crocodile.” The manner in which these lionesses have learned to adapt their hunting skills reflects the adaptability of an age-old reptile, which has survived for thousands of years.

This particular game reserve has a tarred airstrip, designed to accommodate small aircraft. What this pride of lions has learned, is that on occasion, Zebra and other potential prey such as large antelope will frequent the airstrip at night in search of the heat, which has been stored up during the day. The lions wait patiently for their nocturnal visitors and then hunt and chase them down on the smooth and slippery tarmac. The Zebra and antelope have hooves, unable to establish a grip on this smooth surface, they slip and become easy pickings for the experienced pride of hunters.

Often we find ourselves in a unique position where opportunities arise and where new thinking and creativity is required to solve a problem or to get ourselves out of a difficult situation. More often than not, the simplest way to deal with these situations is not to look for complex solutions or expensive answers. In order for creativity and new thinking to occur, we should consider these options:

  • Take the risk – risk and reward do go together. We sometimes hear of calculated risks. Personally, I am not sure what that actually means. I think taking a risk entails having an unshakable faith in your decision as well as in your own capabilities regardless of the situation.
  • Use your environment – your environment is not just the external variables. It is also the people and relationships you encounter on a day-to-day basis. Do not be scared to ask for help. People are just too willing to lend a hand and suggest new ideas. People experience a great deal of satisfaction in sharing their experiences and wider wisdom. You would be surprised as to what you can learn from listening to others.
  • Being opportunistic – opportunistic in a positive sense. This means taking those opportunities as they arise. They are often disguised and it takes an objective and open mind to identify them. As with taking a risk, you will need to have faith in your decision and the courage to venture forth.

Being creative, smart and coming up with new ideas and thoughts has big rewards. Just ask the Bakwena Pride of Lions how much easier hunting became when they figured out a different way. Is creativity and new thinking part of your daily life?