Check Your Purpose, Check Your Sources

What is the reason for your current project? What outcome or change are you hoping to make?

Now take a look at the reading material, research, and data that you are are using as background material. Are you reading the right content that fits in line with your project?

Often we get caught up by looking for the wrong thing. If you are starting a small business, but get caught up in reading material about hyper-growth startups, you aren’t going to get the template that you need. If you are trying to run a manufacturing project, make sure that your business advice doesn’t only come from people who have only ever run grocery stores. It’s important to cross-pollinate. But don’t forget to look at all of the useful resources that are available about your particular area. We often get so caught up in trying to innovate by learning from other industries we forget that we can also benefit from looking at what seems to be routine from your industry. Nintendo produced the Gameboy using lateral thinking with withered technology. Using old and commonly available technology, Nintendo was able to create a handheld device that everyone loved. You can do the same thing in your project if you don’t get lost in the quest for ONLY looking at areas outside of your immediate realm.

Cross-pollination of ideas is important if you are looking for home-runs and breakthroughs. Looking at what you can do with the resources, you have might have to draw on a more homogeneous group of inputs. Either way innovation planning, or an innovation map, will help.