I came across this phrase recently while reading an article written by CEO of one of our customers. As usual, I tried to instantly relate to if we practiced it or if I could share this with my team members. The more I thought, the more I was convinced that we did practice it.
The ambitious people usually set a goal and work towards it. I have seen few people who unknowingly tend to stop their growth after achieving their long cherished goals. The problem seems to be NOT thinking beyond goals. Many a times, people find themselves not being able to move ahead after achieving the goal as they would not have thought beyond it. I am sure you would have come across folks working hard to get into IIT. Some folks, after securing a seat in IIT, go into such a satisfied stage that they do not feel like studying or working hard any further. Consider the case of people lining to do MBA. Many a times when they do not get job of their interest, they join Information Technology. Why? Because, they would not have thought of options when things may not work after achieving goals. At least half a dozen people who I have asked why do they plan to do Masters have answered that it is only for higher studies. None of them seemed to have given a clear justifiable reason so far.
Why do you think it is necessary to have dissatisfied creativity? It is a natural tendency to go into satisfaction mode the moment some important work is done. I do not intend to say that it is necessary do post-mortem of every activity that you do and explore improvements. However, there are certain tasks, especially important milestones for which I would suggest to be into dissatisfied creativity mode. This is important explicitly during planning phase. Genuine dissatisfaction to explore that you have been able to think through the options, ensure best quality, calculate risks and mitigation help to deliver the project/milestones more effectively. I do not mean that you should not celebrate your achievements.
I have always been in the awe of people who have built big business empires in India. Tata, Birla, Goenka, Khaitan, Bajaj etc. Its very obvious the way these people worked to grow their establishments despite having influential political connections. I would recommend to read ‘Business Maharajas’ by Gita Piramal for those who are interested to know more about their biographies. It is amazing to know the way they have climbed the ladders of success. Most of us know their success stories; however, this book also sheds light on the projects that they did not succeed. Their stories reflect their dissatisfied creativity of starting a new project the moment one is completed. They used to always set their focus on another project, mostly larger than earlier ones as soon as they were done with one. Steve Jobs too, in one of his popular speech, urged during Stanford University graduation ceremony to remain hungry and foolish, which I believe, in turn, is to refrain from being satisfied with success/knowledge.
If I may, I would add and make it as Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish, Stay Dissatisfied 🙂