Running on Empty

Do you know what kind of fuel you need for inspiration and innovation?  I discovered the answer to that question the hard way this past weekend.

Last weekend several members of my family achieved important milestones. As a result, the entire weekend was taken up with large family events. And, with all that celebrating, I didn’t have my usual weekend time for reading and thinking. Not surprisingly, when I woke up Monday morning I didn’t have a blog post ready to publish.  Thankfully it didn’t take too long for me to prime the pump, but it was a good reminder that it’s hard to generate outputs without the requisite inputs and processing time.

The same rule applies to organizations that are trying to innovate.  It’s hard to produce new ideas if you have not ingested and digested a wide variety of stimuli.  Organizations (like brains) need something to chew on.  This suggests that a manager who is responsible for innovation better be sure that every member of the team has time to read, think and discuss.  Better still, they should have the opportunity to read outside their immediate area of responsibility and to discuss their findings with people outside their discipline.  It’s precisely this cross-pollination of ideas that leads to breakthroughs.

So, do you know what kind of fuel you and your team need in order to innovate?  Are you getting it in adequate supply or are you running on empty?

[Photo Credit:  mag3737]

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