A Discussion on Digital Media & Communication Trends
In Jack Foster’s How to Get Ideas, Foster discuss the thought that ideas do not just happen to ‘idea people.’ Ideas happen to people when they are open to the prospect of ideas. Foster’s entire book is focused on how to cultivate the idea machine in your personal self or with your team. One suggestion Foster makes was particularly inspiring. His claim is that by increasing the diversity of your routine, activities, and accessed information (even when it is uncomfortable) will automatically strengthen your ability to develop ideas. Foster calls it ‘Getting new inputs.’ The basic idea is to get out of your comfort zone. He suggests some of the following:
What a fabulous initiative to strive for both personally and professionally. In my personal life I enjoy diverse activities, but in the work environment it is often difficult. Efficiency is often more important than idea creation, and if we are not careful we can fall into the efficiency trap: faster, better, cheaper. Companies always want it cheaper and better, but I like to ask myself sometimes do we really need it faster. If the answer is no, don’t sacrifice the other two.
So this idea of ‘Getting New Inputs’ prompted me to think through my team’s skills. What were skills they possessed that we were not using? My mind quickly landed on our graphic designer. He is a fabulous artist. He uses his innate artistic ability daily in a virtual environment, but he is never given the ability to physically create art pieces. This one thought snowballed into a campaign that was able to highlight a key competitive advantage for my company, include philanthropic values my organization upholds while simultaneously providing our designer with the opportunity to truly create art. Two days a week our designer is going to spend them away from his desk in a separate office designing and creating art pieces that we will showcase in a gallery for a culminating campaign event.
By stepping back and thinking about what we could do differently within our department a unique, personal and exciting opportunity presented itself. Not to mention the excitement and employee engagement the campaign is already beginning to generate.
So break out of your comfort zone, refuse to fall into the efficiency trap and you just might surprise yourself. Now that’s an idea!
What are ways you need to get out of an old rut? Do you need to see something in a new light? Is there a process that needs to be reinvented? Tell me about it!