February 4


Childlikeness: The Beginning of Innovation

By Michael Q. Pink

February 4, 2015

butterfly, childlikeness, Christian Business Institute, ideas, innovation

I was asked yesterday what was the starting place for beginning a new business. I told him it was childlikeness. Children have eyes of wonder. Their way of seeing the world without predetermined boundaries allows them to see what adults miss.

Happy kid exploring nature with magnifying glass

The ability to see is the cradle of creativity.

Without creativity, you are at best a copycat, using left-brain deductive reasoning to improve processes to gain an economic advantage. Although that is very useful and even necessary, that is not typically how breakthrough innovations come about.

I remember the 5-year-old girl traveling down the highway with her grandfather when they came upon a truck that had become stuck as it tried to pass under a low overpass. Tow trucks were there, but couldn’t free the truck. Engineers were there but couldn’t raise the overpass. Quite the crowd had gathered, when the child simply asked, “Why don’t they let the air out of the trucks tires?” Seeing the problem through the simplicity of a child, solved the problem.

As a business owner, childlikeness is allowing yourself the time to imagine, to listen to what the Lord might be showing you, whether that be from His creation or from His Word, or both. I believe we are all born with this, but lose it, much like a child who moves to a country that speaks a foreign language will usually forget the language he first learned. But it can be regained.

Did this ever happen to you?…

When I was about 4 or 5 years old, my mother sent me to a room to have my afternoon nap. I wasn’t tired of being up, but I suppose she was tired of me being up, so I was off to my room to lay down and wait for my “nap time” to be over. It was during one of these times, that I saw what I can only describe as a vision. It didn’t seem unusual to me to see something unfolding in front of my eyes, even though nothing physical was there.

It was a red ball about the size of a tennis ball, traveling from left to right in an arc. As I watched the ball, I noticed it stopping and resuming, stopping and resuming an infinite number of times. I realized that motion was a continuous series of stops because the ball was at an uncountable number of places during its three-foot journey. I found that to be interesting but never mentioned it to anyone because I didn’t have the vocabulary to describe it.

Years later as a teen, my parents gave me a Time-Life series of science related books for my birthday. (I was hoping for a bike, but that’s another story!) One night when reading through a book on physics and math, I discovered that what I had seen as a child was being written about in science as a perplexing reality.

Male Monarch butterfly feeding on a white flowers of a butterflNow, when I go out to observe nature for example, I am deliberate about having an inquiring mind and paying attention to what I see. Recently, I noticed a butterfly dancing on invisible airwaves in the bright sun. It struck me suddenly that his wings were different than birds. They were like solar panels! I immediately came inside the house to see if anyone had observed that before. Turns out a Japanese scientist a few years ago, had noticed that and made a profound discovery relating to increasing the efficiency of solar panels.

Based on something else I have observed which I won’t disclose here, I am pretty sure I know how to significantly increase it beyond what the Japanese scientist was doing because as I read his work, I realized he was thinking in a linear fashion and what I was seeing was multi-dimensional with an infinite number of light gathering angles that actually magnify what is captured, not just capture it.

Great ideas are a dime a dozen. Incredible ideas are a nickel apiece.

Childlikeness opens the floodgates for new business opportunities and that is why it is the starting point. The ability to convert those ideas into real businesses requires innovation, structure and follow through. That’s when they gain value… when they are incarnated, become tangible working expressions of what you originally say.

How you best do that is modeled by how nature brings anything to maturity. The laws of nature are consistent when turning a seed into a self-replicating, high producing, fruit yielding return on investment. Those laws apply directly to business and can make a huge difference in your life!

ICBI Logo.jpgIf you are part of our International Christian Business Institute, you will have the opportunity to turn great ideas that God gave you into tangible realities that turn a profit. To learn more about how you can do that, please visit this page and be sure to register for the webinar at the bottom of that page.

Michael Q. Pink

About the author

Michael is America's leading authority on applying Biblical Wisdom and Natural Law to sales and business and has authored 19 books including The Bible Incorporated, Selling Among Wolves and God's Best Kept Secrets. Using that knowledge, he has helped thousands of professionals and entrepreneurs experience radical transformation in their lives and careers, including helping a start-up with 3 struggling sales reps turn the corner and become the 16th fastest growing company on the INC 500 list. 

  • Michael,

    I am so glad that you have returned to regular blogging over the past year. It is great to hear others are being lead to similar revelations through their gifting. In the case of solar, I sense that honeycomb may reveal something to you.

    Whenever you talk about being salt and light, I get encouraged. There just isn’t enough of that in the world to the point that it seems unnatural where I feel God asking will you be My fool. I would love to hear more how you have developed your spiritual and natural gifts to listen/interpret/act and what do you do with the revelations that appear to have no application for you or if that even happens.

    Thanks for all you do,

  • Great article!
    How would someone gain back that childlike innovative spirit?
    What scriptures would you recommend us to stand on to help us renew our mind concerning innovation?

    • Hi Paul;

      Start with being inquisitive. Questions are the hallmark of childlikeness. Start asking questions about everything. Ask the question behind the question. Be insatiably curios.

      Bless you brother!

  • It’s so obvious to see the different viewpoints. What a child wants to be versus what an adults sees a possible. Imagination versus enculturation. When our thinking becomes limited we really are controlled. Children want the world, adults wants the world to leave them alone. Polar opposites. Thanks Michael

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