Daily Inspiration: “You are surrounded by people who want to crush your creativity. Deny them the opportunity!”


“You are surrounded by people who want to crush your creativity. Deny them the opportunity!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

From the vaults! A keynote for EY’s annual tax conference with a focus on the disruptive trends that are redefining industries, challenging assumptions, and rendering irrelevant carefully laid out plans. My goal was to provide this audience of corporate tax accountants insight into the twists and upheavals that would challenge their industries in the years to come.

The creativity angle? Obviously, tax accountants are creative people in their own way, devising strategies to surf through the complexity of regulatory and legal structure.  And yet, the very nature of the work they do can often limit their opportunity to envision a future that is far different than they might ever know, in a profession that has an innate goal to destroy individualistic thinking. I know this as a fact to be true – after all, the deep, dark secret that I hide, despite being a recognized global futurist with clients like NASA, Disney and the World Bank – is that my professional background is originally as a Chartered Accountant! I worked for a decade for a predecessor firm of KPMG, doing tax, audit and advisory work, until I managed to free my creative mind by busting loose and pursuing my own path forward.

Here’s what I learned from that experience – you should never, ever let anyone crush your creativity! Watch this clip below for insight on my career roots and that creativity story involving audit tick marks, stick men, and more!

We are surrounded by people who want to crush our creativity! We spend our lives being told that we need to conform; that we need to fit in; that we need to become like everyone else; that we shouldn’t try to stand out from the crowd; that we should be of a like mind; that we should be on the same wavelength.

That we should be like everyone else!

What a load of rubbish!

Know this one simple fact that you must confront each and every day: nurture your creative soul. Fight back. There’s something inside you that is unique, and it’s dying to get out. You’ve got creative energy burning deep within your soul, and you are surrounded by people who want to douse its flames. You’ve got an idea that is deep and personal to your creative soul, but you have friends who tell you that it’s but a pipe dream.

Don’t let them stop you!

Because you never know where you might end up – you might find yourself following a unique career path like I did – an accountant who morphed into a global futurist! It wasn’t all just fun and games up on stage – the keynote was actually for EY Canada’s annual tax conference – and I filmed this clip below before I hit the stage to talk about the issues that I would cover on stage! There was a lot of discussion around the fast pace of the business model and other forms of disruption.


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.