One of the things I learned a long, long time ago (from really smart, creative and innovative people) was that you need to READ and SEE “OUTSIDE” your SECTOR/ SUBJECT AREA.
If you only read things within your “industry” (nonprofit world) or specialty (finance, social service, education or development), you will just be reviewing a lot of STATIC, STAGNANT THINKING.
Here are some recommendations:
- 3 MANDATORY Reads: Magazines
- FAST COMPANY (Great ‘stuff’ to spur creativity and innovation!)
- INC. (Valuable, relevant ideas to help your run your FIO.)
- Any magazine you can find at Barnes & Noble on DESIGN.
- 3 MANDATORY READS: Newspapers
- USA Today (A very ‘fast’ read with a much broader perspective, with some terrific, positive articles.)
- A SUNDAY PAPER from OUTSIDE your city.
- Your Local ‘Business’ Paper. Great articles. Great leads.
- 3 ‘VISITS’ with your TEAM
- A DESIGN Place (IKEA, Crate & Barrel, A Museum)
- An ‘EXPERIENCE’. Take the team to Cirque du Soleil, the next Pixar movie (Cars), whatever. (If they can come up with this imaginative fun movie about CARS … think what you can do!) Or, even go into Starbucks and view the ‘EXPERIENCE’ together.
- The OUTDOORS. Nothing beats the mountains, the desert or a beach to get your creative juices flowing.
P.S. When you TRAVEL, you should always try:
- A walk/run to explore the city … looking for ads, signs, marketing ideas, new billboards, innovative delivery and service practices, etc.
- Always check out a museum or some other DESIGN space … for ideas.
- Restaurant/Food … but instead of going there just to “eat”, try going there for the “experience” and see how they treat customers, present the menu and the food, follow-up, “sell”, etc.