Sagacity: the creative opportunity-spotters’ friend

In my creativity teaching I highlight the profound significance of your ‘sagacity’ – your ability to read a bigger picture than others; its portent facility to enable you to spot clues of what the future is like ahead of everyone else.

Like the science fiction writer William Gibson wrote: “The future is here. It is just unevenly distributed.” Your sagacity is like an opportunity spotting muscle: the more you can use it, the more effective it will become.

There was a good example of sagacity in action in a recent Financial Times article on ‘Consumers psyche adapts to world of austerity.’ It demonstrated how British consumers are embracing austerity and shifting their priorities en masse.

And the evidence for this pronouncement: the sharp jump in the number of cars with bald tyres failing their MOTs at Halfords’ Autocentre chain, the change in driver behaviour at ASDA petrol stations, and the growth in growing your own vegetables witnessed at B&Q stores.

In each instance there is evidence of changing data.

The sagacious mind is able to look beyond the immediate and see it as part of a bigger box of thinking.

So, drivers now putting of getting tyres replaced and paying for petrol in round pound amounts such as £20, and the curious sales blip in a minority product are like tiny mosaic pieces: by themselves they are an individual tile of data 

Collected together however, and the sagacious mind can discern a bigger – albeit still largely incomplete – picture.

The lesson is what small signs are you missing out on in your world around you today?

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