22Jan Go Fishing…. In Different Ponds!
Although that sounds like something that David Brent from The Office would say, there’s a lot of truth in it, particularly if you’re talking about improving your competitiveness.
If a key ingredient of competitiveness is innovation which, according to the definition I like is ‘the successful exploitation of new ideas’, then are you guilty of ‘always doing the same things’ particularly when it comes to spotting, generating and developing ideas?
According to CNN, some research by Harvard Business School highlighted 5 ‘secrets’ of successful innovators ((I’m always nervous about ‘secrets’ – by definition, if you’re reporting them, they aren’t ‘secret’ any more, but anyway, here goes!).
They are, apparently:
Associating – It’s about ‘connecting’ stuff (my interpretations are in italics)
Questioning – Asking ‘why?’ ‘what if?’ ‘ how?’ etc
Observing – Watching others do stuff
Experimenting – Trying things out
Networking – Meeting others
So, now the secrets are out, what does this mean for you? Maybe you do some, or all of these things, but do you do them in the same environment all the time? My recommendation is try ‘fishing in different ponds’ – that means doing the things above in environments you’re not so familiar with. The likelihood is that you’ll not ‘get what you always have’.
So, rather than always visiting the same websites that you always do, always listening to the same podcasts you always listen to, always attending the same conferences and trade shows you always do, always visting the same network meetings you always go to, always reading the same books, magazines and trade journals you always do, why not do something different and see how other industries, countries, even ‘cultures’ ‘do stuff’?
Go on, it’s relatively easy to do and you never know what you might ‘discover’?
Every now and then when I’m travelling by train, I ‘fish in a different pond’ and make a conscious effort to buy a magazine related to a sector I know absolutely nothing about and see what i can ‘learn’. If you see me reading Hairdressers Monthly next time you see me, that’s why!
So, go on, get fishing …….in different ponds!
(And while we’re at this, please do share any ‘ponds’ you think are worth fishing in!)