I'm staying in a Dutch hotel in a German city attending a trade show. This American quote is on my hotel room wall: "The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time."--Abraham Lincoln
My lessons from this quote:
- Savor the future.
- Make time to digest the meaning of new things.
- If something doesn't quite work out the first day, you have more days ahead to test, to try, to adjust, to learn.
- We can take in only so much new information in a day.
- Slow down.
- There will always be more great new ideas ahead that will impact my life in meaningful ways.
What does this quote suggest to you? Share it with your team as a meeting starter and see where it takes you and your group. You'll surely get nice insights to strengthen your approach to creativity and innovation.
While attending a networking reception, I met the CEO of a very fine confectionery company. We got to talking about why he continues to attend trade shows--he's a highly regarded expert in his industry. He made two points that struck me as very helpful for meaningful innovation:
Point 1: He talked about how important it is to get out and see for yourself what's happening. What's new? Who's doing what? Who's attending? Who isn't attending? Ideas start to pop.
What have you attended so far this year that has taken you away from your daily work grind? What are you planning to attend that will expose you to new ways, new people, and different thinking? Sure, we're living in a connected world. Who needs to travel when you can just log-on. There is some truth to the old phrase--you have the world at your doorstep. Here's a different phrase to consider--I need to get out in the world and meet the people I wouldn't normally meet, see what I normally wouldn't see, experience what I normally wouldn't experience. Creativity comes from unexpected connections. Get connected in new ways.
Point 2: I asked this gentleman what he liked to talk about when he met people? Right away he said, "Different business philosophies." I asked for an example. He talked about the business philosophy of practicing "incremental improvements." He went on to talk about how he believes incremental improvements, over time, degrade the product--flavor and texture. Before you know it, your product doesn't live up to its reputation for excellence. He emphasized you have to fight for what you believe is right for your product.
I had never heard incremental improvement described this way before. It got me thinking about three new screening questions to ask when evaluating an incremental improvement:
- How will this change degrade our product over time?
- Is it worth it--to our reputation--our level of excellence in the marketplace?
- What if we keep it just the way it is? What do we risk?
I'm glad I discovered these creativity and innovation tips on my trip. Be sure to leverage the power of your travels to find new ways to think about ideas for your business.
LIFT Your Thinking ...until next time.