The Employers' Association

The Employers’ Association (TEA) is a not-for-profit employers’ association, formed in 1939, with offices in Grand Rapids serving the West Michigan employer community. We help more than 600 member companies maximize employee productivity and minimize employer liability through human resources and management advice, training, survey data, and consulting services.

TEA is in the business of helping people. This blog is intended to address human issues, concerns and the things that impact people - be they self-perpetuated or externally imposed. Feel free to respond to the thoughts presented here, for without each other, we are nothing!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Imagination is the ability to challenge the world of “what is” by relentlessly asking “why not?”

I was splitting wood for our furnace several years ago. A neighborhood child joined me and began asking questions with every swing of my splitting maul. “Could you hear that if nobody was here to listen?” “Why can’t you burn the wood without splitting it?” The one that struck home was “Why didn’t you start at that log?” as I finished the job. To a child, starting at the end made a lot of sense. He saw my work as having been completed with the splitting of that particular log – and had I started there the job would have been finished almost before it began.

A person can show great proficiency without ever exhibiting imagination. Conversely, an individual will never demonstrate imagination by simply accomplishing the work assigned without asking “why not…?” Accepting a standard response to a “why” question often satisfies those willing to do nothing more than the minimum. An understanding of what must be done as well as a verbalization of what might yet be accomplished is demonstrated when one researches enough – or is interested enough – to ask “why not?”

Given the choice between a “doer” and a “dreamer,” I would prefer to live within my imagination than within my reality. A realist accepts only what can be defined and demonstrated – content to accomplish the dreams and desires of others. I would prefer to live amongst those who imagine what has not yet been proven – has not yet been established – for they will accept nothing less than the great things they are destined to accomplish in this world.