When you’re brainstorming a new product or campaign, who do you invite to the session? Is it the bright-eyed social media specialist or the silver-haired director? For the majority of us, we default to our more tenured co-workers. There are plenty of times when their deep experience will steer us down the right course, but when the task is innovation, it’s more likely to hamstring us.
With tenure comes the bite of past failures, customer feedback and reprimands from the boss. Like a horse wearing blinders, it creates a proximity to the organization that keeps people looking in one direction for success. If you’re looking for the next breakthrough idea, it’s not going to be sitting where you found it before. It’s going to come from the fringes.
Here are three strategies for creating the distance you need to innovate.
Turn off the voice that says, “That will never work.” Innovation should drive execution – not the other way around. Over the years, I’ve seen clients reject hundreds of incredible ideas because they doubt their ability to bring it to life.
If you’re losing market share and competitors are circling, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Let someone else worry about the execution side later. Your only job right now is to come up with an undeniably great idea.
A person doesn’t need to work in your department to contribute to innovative thinking. In fact, bringing together a wide variety of skillsets and backgrounds is one the most effective ways to generate new ideas. Each person has a life outside the walls of the business, and their hobbies will crossover to spur to ideas.
There’s a Thomas Fogarty somewhere in your organization. Here are a few tips for holding a successful brainstorm with a motley crew of rebels:
You don’t need to reinvent the wheel – you just need to find something brilliant to steal that will be new to your industry.
What are your strategies for creating distance from a challenge so you can see the new opportunities at the fringes? We want to hear how it’s helped you innovate.