A Case for Creativity and Innovation in UESI

We often use the words Innovation and Creativity interchangeably, but a deeper look would reveal that they are two different entities, while Innovation involves

a) Identifying problems, needs or opportunities;uesi creativity

b) Generating ideas to address points at ‘a’

c) Shepherding the best ideas to completion and

d) Generating value from those ideas, its about challenging the culture, ‘the how we do things around here’.

Creativity on the other hand is the ability to make connections that result in ideas, it’s not talent it’s a drive and it’s not a goal in itself. Therefore a thumbnail definition to the difference between the two is Innovation is a process and Creativity is a skill, both however need to co-exist for maximising the returns.

Irrespective of what everyone may or may not say, BIBLE is the source of all creativity and innovation, Bible substantiates it and prompts it. There are many examples to it, but for our reference here I shall take two examples. The case of Sir James Young Simpson who discovered Chloroform and used it first during an operation in 1847, beautifully integrates both creativity and innovation drawn from the Bible. He found that pain is a curse in Gen. 3:16,17, and went about finding a solution. The motivation came from Gen 2:21,(“so the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man(Adam) and while he slept, took one of his ribs and closed up the place with flesh”). Simpson took that as the model of an operation, which God himself performed. The second is the famous 6 Day War between the Arabs and Israel fought in 1967.The odds were terribly tilted in favour of the Arabs. There were
21 Countries under the Arab world against Israel. This skewed ratio, cause extreme discomfort to the Israeli Government of those days and compelled them to designate all public parks as cemeteries. Here again study of the scriptures by a young secretary to the then Defence minister gave courage and heart to the otherwise demoralised Israeli government to make a fearless go at it. The result was an astounding victory that left the enemy shattered. Some statistics on the ground situations.


general stat



(Ps: All data is authentic and can be verified.)
The Outcome Of the War Captured by Israel
• 108780 Sq km of Arab land
• 1000 Enemy vehicles
• 2 Sam batteries (these come with 4 other accessories)

Destroyed by Israel
• 320 Tanks
• 451 – 469 Aircrafts (2/3 of the arab airforce)
• 480 Guns and artillary

What was the scriptural prompting to the young adjutant and what was the advise he gave to his boss. “Israel had faced similar situation in the past and God helped us out in an even more depressing situation in Judges (7-9) during the time of Gideon, the ratios were then 1 : 450 We in UESI too, need to be deep rooted in the scriptures – that is the number criterion for innovation and creativity, however lets also see if there really is a need for creativity in our approach to the student, the student ministry, or we can continue doing what we have been doing all these years and be happy.

Focal points of the UESI ministry are the Student and the campus’ and of course our strategies – to reach him. With both these focal points, the following four extreme situations emerge.

1) Student & the campus changing? –YES
2) Student & the campus changing? –NO
3) Change in strategy required? – YES
4) Change in strategy required? – NO

student change

Let us now look at the scenarios emerging as a result of various combinations, these are bound to occur whether we like it or not and are going to impact us.

Scenario – 1 : Student Not Changed, Outreach Strategy Changed

The Negative Side: On the face of it, it will look to be a mighty waste of effort, resources – Vision 2020, Strategic Directives all a waste.

The Positive Side: Some students would anyway be saved as a result of this new focus, therefore in Eternity terms – still worth the effort. A win/win.

Scenario – 2 : Student Not Changed, Outreach Strategy Not Changed

The Negative Side: The same humdrum. We all know what happens if we are fed the same food day in and day out, for 365 days a year without change.

The Positive Side: Some would still be saved, we should be thankful and consider ourselves lucky that God in His mercy brought those students into our fold.

Scenario – 3 : Student Changed, Outreach Strategy Not Changed

The Negative Side: What a catastrophe So madly in love with the ‘how part’ that we virtually turn a blind eye to the winds of change blowing around us. There is a wise saying “Its OK to be in love with what we are doing (student ministry), but its catastrophic to be in love with “how we are doing it” With such opportunity slipping thru our, we better prepare ourselves with good replies for the day when we face our Saviour.

The Positive Side: Cannot conceive of any positive side or outcome of such a scenario.

Scenario – 4 : Student Changed, Outreach Strategy Also Changed

The Negative Side: Cannot conceive any negative outcome or side of this scenario.

The Positive Side: Wow! what a change that would bring about and what joy in heaven and on Judgment day.

In the light of the above we all would agree that Scenario – 4 is “THE” scenario and we need to remove any doubts we have to the contrary. For those of us who are sceptical about change and believe that today’s student is the same as those of the 50’s, 60’s, or even 90’s, well there is much room for introspection and correction. The adjacent figure is based on scientifically proven data to show that ‘What we know’ is a small percentage of ‘What we know, we don’t know’ and both put together constitute a very small percentage of ‘What we don’t know and don’t know that we don’t know’.

We don’t act beyond the realm of our knowledge. Its like being in a dark room in the middle of the night, if you do not know that there is a light switch in the room you will remain in the darkness and at the same time if you know where the switch is and don’t act on that knowledge, you will once again remain in the darkness. Therefore it’s time we either gather knowledge (which would be like
inventing the wheel) or begin to act on the knowledge that is already available and get the ball rolling The GOQSNL is our  ropellant or strategy, this is based on our Vision and mission and or aspirations, which constitute our ‘Knowledge Document” the Vision 2020. Our competencies are there, some will need to be developed along the way. At the time of filling out the respective state targets for the Vision 2020, the respective Units have already factored the emerging Campus Scenarios. The figure below depict it.

Strategy comes out of

a) Our Vision, Mission and Aspirations which in effect means ‘Who we want to be’,

b) Our Competencies, which implies – ‘Who we are and what we are good at’,

c) Scenarios – which factors the likely changes in the ministry environment on the campuses and among the students. (As depicted in the below diagram)

We have briefly covered the what and Why of Creativity and Innovation, in the next write-up I will deal with the How When and where of it.

David Dean

About the Author

The author, David Dean has served in Commercial Vehicles industry for 30+ years and is based in Allahabad. His wife works in a school and their son & daughter are employed. He is the Chairman of OPED (Orgn Planning & Evaluation Dept)

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