Just noticed this on my Amazon.com front page. Even so, the company was 5 years old by the time I became a customer. It's a reminder of the old adage, "Rome wasn't built in a day." Yes, agility is a key competency, but there are some things can't be rushed. It seems that those that can continually manage the tensions between fast and slow, strategic and tactical, creative and analytical, etc. may have the best shot at success. Perhaps we must become the embodiment of oxymorons.
I couldn't agree with myself more :) In this self-centered world of ours, we could all (not just children) use some lessons in empathy. Guess what? It's good for business and innovation too. Empathy is what helps us to understand our customers, our employees, and our stakeholders in ways others don't...and that helps us to create strategies and make decisions that differentiate us (read: better). Good design (and thus DOWE) starts with empathy--any innovation leader will tell you that. If you don't know where to start, begin with these ideas from the article--whether or not you are a kid (or just act like one).
This is an example of what I suspect is an unintended benefit identified by users: http://nyti.ms/11Xs2lb How might we look for these in our own backyard? We are all too often paralyzed with fear at the prospect of "unintended consequences"--so much so that we forget all about its lesser-known counterpart. There's no need to learn how to do this, you just have to expand your thinking and look for them. It's about paying attention.
Over the course of our lifetime our brains developed shortcuts based on our experiences. It’s efficient that way. Things that are every day or common for us, we almost don’t see anymore. They’ve become givens and routine. When it comes to training ourselves to be more innovative, it requires concerted effort to break our patterns and to see things in a whole new light. It doesn’t matter what you focus on. The important thing is that you practice this skill, even on the most inane tasks of your day…brushing your teeth, watching TV, surfing the web, etc. Ask yourself, “What would this be like if I were doing this for the very first time?” Tom Kelley in the oldie-but-goodie video above calls this “thinking like a traveller”. What’s the point? This mind stretching (with practice) will transfer well to more important activities or decisions. It will build your ability to see things from another perspective and to challenge the status quo. It seems awkward and even hard at first, but all of us are capable of practicing this. We’ve all experienced things for the first time before.
Short on time or seeking another perspective? Ask someone else for an opinion. Better yet, if you are at work, leverage your new hires. I often hear clients lament about the “ramp up” time it takes to get new hires to fully contribute. Guess what, they can contribute right away with a pair of fresh eyes. Ask them to give their first impressions and compare things to their previous experiences. Didn’t you hire them because they are smart and come with all that previous experience? Then use it.
Thanks for reading. Sorry to keep it short, but I’m working on some great client projects and writing deadlines. Writing this blog forces me out of my other busy-ness to remind myself to practice or think about other things.
In recent days, my in-laws have enjoyed music at sunset on a beach in California. The musicians are there for the pure enjoyment of making music for others to experience, an offering of sorts to everyone in their community. This old piano has been put out for pickup—and a pickup of another sort occurred. Other musicians have joined in, a bassist, guitarist, saxophone, etc. It’s unplanned events like these that remind us of beautiful happenings in the world. Sadly, this will be short lived when the piano goes to heaven. For a brief moment in time, it fulfilled its destiny.
There’s lots of research out there about how the physical environment can impact people in many ways, for better or worse. We’ve all experienced it, whether we are someone that needs “peace and quiet” to concentrate, or need to have music playing in our earplugs while we work. Did you notice why people travel great lengths to see Christmas lights? Because it makes them happy and it’s fun. I walked into my chiropractor’s office to see the Christmas decorations up and it made me feel good (it’s one of the photos above). Feeling happy is why we went to great lengths to make sure we bought our house and why we spent time, energy, and money to make it “ours”. However, where do the majority of us spend most of our time? That’s, right…at work. What a great opportunity for companies and employees alike to think about how to create the physical environments that make people happy. The dot coms figured it out a long time ago. Happy people=great business results. So why don’t more places do this?
A place to share interesting concepts that will inspire, spread, and/or apply new ideas. This page is dedicated to sharing my twitter feed, announcements, and blog posts.