If you’ve ever watched an episode of the show “Undercover Boss“, you’ll know that some of the top CEO’s have learnt incredibly valuable information, not from a person of senior position but from employees at a grass roots level. For all of us, we need to keep and open mind and be willing to listen to create valuable insight.
KEEP YOUR RADAR UP FOR RESOURCES
If you’re looking there are insights everywhere. Now with social media, we can enter into discussion or follow information that is available in industry discussions. These days, so many solutions can be found through google or youtube. Industry experts are now giving samples of their expertise through webinars and downloadable resources.
Even our own friends and family can give us unexpected insights. One of my favorite things to do at family dinners is to teach my kids how to entertain themselves (without devices) while waiting for their food. I encourage them to ask their grandparents about life experiences, such as where they went to school.
BECOME AN INNOVATOR
Some people just seem to have one great idea after another. Yes, some people have an innate creative ability, they also act as a sponge. They absorb and retain information, not necessarily all in their head but use methods to keep access and reference to some of those great ideas. Rest assured this blog did not just come from my own head but is inspired by books and articles that I have referenced. At some point, I’ve thought that the structure and ideas were ones I’d like to build upon. I certainly haven’t plagiarized anyone’s writing but I’ve most definitely gain inspiration from it. Rest assured I’m not the only person that does this either.
CREATE A SWIPE FILE OR A SOMEDAY-MAYBE LIST
Every entrepreneur has a method for collecting and storing their ideas or inspirations. As mentioned above, I store and collect ideas for a rainy day. To inspire or reference later on. I could not live without Evernote as it allows me to do this anywhere, anytime and revisit ideas in a timely manner. For me, it’s an idea of “Some day, I’ll do that, maybe, mabye not. Who knows, but I’ll keep it there for now.”
VALUE EVERY CONNECTION
So much of my business comes from personal connection. When I meet people one of the main things I focus on is asking questions. I like to ask people what they do, how they got started in that field. Without hesitation, they embark on a passionate conversation about why they love what they do and how they do it. I always learn something new. If I can, I relate it back to me and what I do too, so we find common ground. Even if I’m in a new environment, I find relevance in the situation to how it relates to me.
MIND MAP AND BRAINSTORM
You might feel you have all the ideas you need and that you will come up with new ideas when you need them. Trust me, taking 5 minutes to do this exercise is well worth your while. Take the time to write down your objective or goal in the middle of the page, then branch off from that idea of things you might need to do or consider before that central objective. Then from those ideas, branch off more and more. See how far you go. You will be truly surprised to see what evolves as you allow your mind to consider all options and possibilities.
SHARPEN YOUR OBSERVATION SKILLS
Get good at reading people’s responses. Certain language or body language can give you signs to a hidden or underlying response. Take a moment to be reflective of what is happening in your environment. Not everyone is going to be open to sharing or respond how you expect or think they should. Give some time and thought as to what their thinking may be, behind those actions. Walk a mile in their moccasins so to speak to get a different perspective that may influence you to do things a little differently next time.
- Look for doorways into other information.
- Allow insights to come from the unexpected people
- Create a repository of ideas
- Do all the talking or talk about yourself too much
- Dismiss the value of brainstorming
- Criticize the behavior of others, rather look at what it might tell you about the situation.
- Be rigid in your thinking, be open to alternatives