Encouraging people to use their imagination can be a powerful thing. Sheffield benefited brilliantly from this in the summer and it was demonstrated by The Herd Of Sheffield which was an imaginative fundraising initiative organised by Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
What a brilliant job they did! They invited local artists, employers, community groups and schools to design and paint one of a herd of 58 elephants to raise much needed funds for the hospital. Contributors included artists Pete McKee and Mark Alexander as well as local ‘heroes’ The Arctic Monkeys and international snooker players including current world champion Mark Selby. The result was a herd of 57 brightly coloured ‘Dramatically Different‘ 1.6 metre tall elephants placed all over the city reflecting people’s different views and memories of Sheffield – the diversity of ideas was truly inspiring.
They engaged lots of people in the whole process – Businesses sponsored them, fundraisers chased round the city to see them all and thousands of people had selfies with them. The whole thing culminated in a spectacular farewell event one weekend when thousands of people came to see the whole herd in all its diverse glory, and then the grand finale – an auction that raised over £410,000!!!!
So, what’s this got to do with business? Well, how powerful would it be to create your own herd of ideas? What would happen if you invited your people to use their creativity and imagination to solve problems, make suggestions and generate ideas to improve your business?