What are you working on? Is it you?
When I’m successful in persuading a previously closed mind of the value in looking to the future for inspiration and idea stimulus, it’s always a moment to celebrate.
Having the energy and tenacity is our part of the deal: to keep looking forward, to keep seeing value in things that don’t immediately appear promising – to see the future that other people can’t yet see. Clients just have to turn up and be willing to drop their barriers to entry – the practical matters that mire a company in the here and now.
It takes time. Clients need time to trust me and I need to keep them interested long enough to make a breakthrough.
Now and then we get lucky quickly and an idea meets a moment when eyes sparkle and everyone says “hell, yeah.”
Are you the project?
The part in this that we don’t sell, but which occurs as a by-product of being open to new ideas, is that our client always develops a new perspective.
‘What are you working on?’ is a line I stole (like an artist) from a book called ’Show your work’ https://austinkleon.com/show-your-work/ ?
It’s one of a few books I return to when I’m looking for another way to explain what we’re here for.
Innovation is a process, not a workshop.
Regularly turning up to hear, explore and consider external suggestions is not something that enough business leaders do. In fact, it’s not something enough of us do generally.
Whenever I get a fancy to start a new thing I’m accused of having another mid-life crisis. In reality my decisions to open an eBike shop and start a sustainable clothing brand were both the outcomes of years watching things develop around me until I felt the time was right to step up.
Again, from a book – “Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” (John Cleese)
So, ‘what are you working on?’ is my adopted mantra for myself.
This screen grab from Austin Kleon’s book explains why it is so much fun to take time to consider the unnavigable journey into the future. It can be exciting, thought-provoking and sometimes terrifying but it’s a journey I believe we all need to take.
My role is to make it possible over a different path than you may choose for yourself.
Let me know if you fancy trying it out.
Check us out here.