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Bob Bromley’s Big Problem – A blog on innovation inspired by Dr Seuss

Bob Bromley was an important man, he wore an important tie
He worked in important offices that were way up in the sky
His company made Flizzles and had done so for 60 years
Since his grandfather invented them with the help of engineers

The people of Gaboo-town thought that Flizzles were so cool
They used them in their offices, they used them in their school
They used them on the underground, they used them in their boats
Before the Flizzles came along they wondered how they’d coped

But Bromley was a worried man he had something on his brain
Others had now invented things that were almost quite the same
And his Flizzles were more expensive than the ones made by his rivals
And for the first time in 60 years Bob thought about survival

I now must invent something that’s new to keep my business going
So he sat down with a big blank sheet to get inspiration flowing
But after 20 hours or more Bob had only drawn a blank
I need some help” he called aloud and sent for Lou and Frank

Lou and Frank sat down and thought with Bob right by their side
But inspiration wouldn’t come no matter how they tried
They tried a thousand things to try to get some inspiration
They found a great big book entitled “Business Innovation”

But whilst the book was very grand with graphs and great big words
The ideas simply didn’t come and Bob became disturbed
We’re doomed” he cried and sobbed aloud as he looked out to the street
And spotted a pretty little girl with sandals on her feet

The little girl was smiling he could see her eyes a-glisten
She was reading from a coloured book so Bob went out to listen
As he got nearer to the girl his eyes could then deduce
That on the cover of the book was written “Dr Seuss”

Why do you grin so little girl?” Bob asked her with a smile
Because this book is wonderful, why not read it for a while?”
Bob took the book and had a look at the wondrous tales inside
And as he read his mouth began to turn upwards at the side

Bob flicked through all the pages and got a sense of liberation
All of a sudden he exclaimed “I’ve found my imagination!”
Bob ran off to a nearby shop and bought a pile of books
And dashed back to his offices and said “Here take a look!”

He gave copies to everyone, to Beth and Frank and Lou
And all his staff began to laugh as their imaginations grew
This is what we need to help, that is why this intervention
And they set about imaginining their next greatest invention

And they dreamed up Quaggles, Flumps and Schnooze,
As they allowed themselves to dream
And they invented Schnoops and Wallagaloops
And all things in between

And the people of Gaboo-town once again loved Bromley’s things
And his business grew to be so huge it made the people sing
News spread across the land and all the people pranced and twirled
And Bob Bromley’s little company went on to change the world

Now Bob was such a nice man that he did not overlook
That it was that little smiling girl that had first showed him the book
He said “My girl, you’ve changed my world and helped me change the nation
And now she’s swell, Bob pays her well as “Chief of Imagination.”

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About this blog: Inspired by my daughter’s love of Dr Seuss’s books, I’ve recently began using them as a key input into my imagination and innovation workshops. All too often it seems we start the innovation process in a far too serious-adult place and I have found that the rhyming structure, the pictures and the invention of nonsensical words in Dr Seuss books is a fantastic way to help adults get over their fear of being perceived as mad, bad or wrong, kick-starting the imagination process that is essential to innovation. “Oh the thinks you can think of” is a particular favourite.

Instead of writing a traditional blog about this I decided to write the Seuss-esque story of Bob Bromley.

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  1. Sona Pattni says:

    Haha this is spot on. Inspiration right from the imagination genius..Dr Seuss himself.
    His wierd and wonderful imagination definitely brightens up my mind; just to think what it could do to the minds of those who are stuck in the adult corporate world! 😉

    1. Hi Sona, thanks for the comment. I find that there is a wonderful combination of freedom and constraint in Dr Seuss’ work. The verse and rhyming structure provides a beautiful constraint that has just enough discipline to force one’s spontaneous self to come up with new and imaginative words and objects.

  2. Mandy Bennett says:

    As always your blog is such a delight
    I can read it at day and I can read it at night
    And when I am travelling it had to be said
    That sometimes my day is your night time instead
    So imagine my pleasure when I find in my mail
    Your blog that recalls such a marvellous tale
    Bob Bromley’s key lesson is one for us all
    We should never forget when we were quite small
    With a bag full of stuff and a bottle of glue
    We could live in a palace, a boat or a zoo
    A child’s imagination can solve many things
    Turn sticks into spaceships and fogs into kings
    But as we grow older I am sorry to say
    Our childhood ideas can fritter away
    Keep telling your tales and always reminding
    Our ideas aren’t lost they’re just merely hiding

    Apologies to Dr Seuss

    1. Hi Mandy, wow, what a wonderful response. Full of wonder and wisdom. I’m sure Dr Seuss would be most proud. Thanks soooo much for taking the time to write it. Steve

    1. Hi Joe, thanks for your comment. I love stories of folk getting (back) into Dr Seuss as an adult and getting as much from it as children do. For me that is the work of a true genius.

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