In a recent issue of The Atlantic, the cover story was “How Genius Works” where they interviewed, for example, songwriter Paul Simon and architect Frank Gehry. Jennifer Yuh Nelson, animator/director at Dreamworks, shares how they struggled to find the villain for the new Kung Fu Panda movie. The key, she writes, is keeping your mind open when faced with a challenge and to be prepared for the most unexpected thing to be the right solution.
For example, Nelson along with other members of the animation team were surprised when they eventually made the lead villain a peacock. Their first impression of the peacock was the character felt like the opposite of what they were looking for. But once they went further with the idea they realized a peacock could be devious, sharp and dangerous.
The first way to be one in a million is when faced with a challenge to open yourself to the most unlikely solution. What is your peacock? Do you know?