For Impact


New Sources of Ideas and Inspiration

Personal Development | | Tom Suddes

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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. 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.