Did you know that Wonder Woman had a lasso of truth? Which came in very handy when having to deal with the evil villains dotted throughout the DC universe.
But what you might not know is that the same people who invented Wonder Woman’s character and lasso of truth also invented had a hand in inventing the lie detector test. So, in some ways, without this comic book idea we would never have developed this analysis tool. So what does this tell us about creativity and innovation within the context of our working lives?
‘WONDEEEERR WOMAAAANNNNN!’ Yep, it is hard not to hear the TV theme tune when you see the image or name of one of DC comic books key characters. Sadly just concentrating on the TV show overshadows all the trailblazing this female super hero has been doing since 1942.
However, it was only when I came across this interview with Grant Morrison that I realised what a part the character had played in the field of psychological testing. You see William Molton Mourston who, along with his wife Elizabeth, invented the character also invented the polygraph or ‘lie-detector’ test – honest! If you don’t believe me check out this excellent video history from www.rocketboom.com – with a bit more information on William, Wonder Woman, the test and development of both.
Aside from being a fun mix of cult fact/science fiction to impress your friends with, why might this be of interest? Well it is a gentle reminder that you can never discount a notion or idea, despite how outlandish it might appear on first sight, in your daily creative processes.
‘A whip or lasso that can help examine whether people are telling the truth or not? That will never catch on!’ So far that has been proven correct – but, in some ways, it does not matter. The lasso was just the first draft in the creative process for the Molton Mourston’s. There was no guarantee that as a consequence of inventing this tool for the character that William was going to come up with the lie detector test, but the idea had to start in some form. It would have only after this that he would be able to come up with revisions and iterations to the tool that led him to helping him develop the modern-day polygraph.
So think about this within the context of your own working day – what one problem or issue would you like to resolve that would make your life easier and you more effective in your role? What crazy solution would work to help solve it? Spidey sense alarm to know when the milk was about to run out in the office fridge? X-ray vision to see when the printer was running out of paper?!
In some ways the more crazy the idea, the better. This is because you can never underestimate the value of thinking about looking for answers, becoming solution focused rather than accepting the current conventions of your situation.
Look at William and Elizabeth – they set out to create a new kind of super hero and look where it took them. Ideas need to start off with a spark somewhere – where will yours take you today?