Star Wars first came on the scene in 1977. Harry Potter first arrived in 1997. The Twilight Saga gained attention in 2008. But before all of these famous, enduring books and movies there was another one that dates back to 1956 that is still a big part of our lives, and our children’s lives, today….. That is Winnie-the-Pooh.

Winnie the Pooh was, and is, one of my favorite group of characters. Tigger, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo, Rabbit, Owl…. And Christopher Robin. So how did A.A. Milne become such a creative, innovative mastermind with all of these fictional characters? Well, they weren’t all fictional….

After witnessing and enduring the suffering of WWI, A.A. Milne, a mathematics graduate but an author at heart, needed to experience life in a better place. He married in 1913 and in 1920 they had a son and named him Christopher Robin Milne. As Christopher Robin grew up he would ask his dad to tell him stories. A.A. obliged and made up fictional stories about his son, Christopher Robin, and all of his stuffed animals. In 1924, A. A. Milne wrote a book of children’s poems inspired by Christopher Robins childhood past times. Then in 1926, Milne wrote the book “Winnie-the-Pooh.” In 1928 he wrote “The House at Pooh Corner.” These 2 books are the only books about Winnie-the-Pooh that were written by A.A. Milne. Why? We will address that in an upcoming blog.

As leaders what can we learn from A.A. Milne?

First that innovation and creativity is all around us. We need only to open our mind, to think outside of what we deem as “normal”. We might find solutions to problems that we never dreamed of if we would only look beyond our normal view.

Second, leaders must embrace creativity and innovation in order to advance forward. We must look for ideas from what might seem the most unlikely places, such as our stuffed animals or from our children who make dreaming seem so easy.