Over the past few months, I have really focuses on planning with respect to a number of change management initiatives.
Through this process, I have turned to my co-workers and clients and have tried to get some ideas of how they view their work processes. Through this process I have learned quite a bit.
Here are some of the takeaways I have learned through this process:
If you want the best feedback, (source for ideas) go to the source and ask a variety of questions, then shut up and listen, and listen some more.
People will share information about their work if they believe their opinion counts for something.
This information is a valuable asset that is so often ignored and never sought out.
Take the time, (days or weeks) to really put this information together and formulate a better idea that will substantially improve a process. (Stop spending time on the 10% improvements)
Another source for ideas is to look at information that other people have written or present.
I find the best ideas from my Linkedin Contacts. A small percentage of them consistently share ideas through the Linkedin Blog Page or their own updates. This information is most valuable to me because it is backed up by actual experiences. When people share information from their experiences, you can genuinely tell that these people are writing with a sense of purpose and they are sharing information that is very close to them.
Smaller, more niche magazines. I really like the local, small business journals and specifically targeted marketing magazines like Target Marketing and Chief Executive Magazine. These magazines go much deeper than traditional magazines.
There are a number of great videos too. I stay away from people who are only on the consulting side. I like to focus on companies who talk directly about their own businesses. Be selective here and you will find some great information.
Another great source for ideas is visiting other businesses.
I have made it a priority to get off my butt and visit some very cool startup businesses and some well-established companies. It is great to visit companies outside of your industry. I find the people in these particular companies like to share their successes with others who are not in direct competition with them.
Also, just looking around and taking in a different culture can be very refreshing. Watching people interact with each other and clients. Checking out the latest technology and innovation that these companies are working on.
There are millions of ideas right in front of us. The trick is to be receptive to these ideas and being able to take notes and remember who and where we came across these ideas. The best ideas I have presented, have been the result of taking time to document different experiences and examples from others. Each person views their work from a different perspective. Look at ideas as another task like time management. If you work at managing a list of ideas, you soon will find a wide array of options at your disposal.
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