As Helen Keller said, “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all”. And while we all want more adventure in our personal lives, what about our professional lives? Though it might sound bizarre, adding adventure to your business can help turbocharge innovation, spot uncommon connections and keep your team motivated, inspired and committed to finding potent solutions. However, many businesses are not wired to support or encourage a spirit of adventure with their teams. To do so requires discipline and an active commitment to change a business’s deep-seated ways.
Cara Thomas, is an expert in adventure. She is the Founder & CEO of Serenflipity, a game designed to add more adventure to everyday life. Most recently, she has started working with corporates, as more and more leaders recognize that adding adventure into their business practices can reap great benefits. As Thomas says, “The best inventions come from adventures and failures; look at how the Post-It came to be, think about great explorers, and even the guy who dared to eat the first oyster”. Here’s how you can get more adventure into your business.
#1 Take A Safari
A safari is a chance to get out into the big wide world and explore realms other than your own. Send your team on a mission to visit places they don’t normally visit – and make sure they have nothing to do with your industry. Method cleaning products make a habit of this, and send their team to places like Japan to explore fascinating spaces like candy stores, toy stores and beauty bars. While Samsung send their designers on a world tour to soak up inspiration each year. It might sound like a luxury, but it’s essential to fueling the spirit of innovation.
#2 Make Uncommon Connections
Part of putting adventure to work is making uncommon connections. And this requires practice. The best companies make a habit of stealing insight from one place and putting it into another. For example, Steve Jobs got inspired from a visit to a candy factory, and then used that inspiration to inform the color pallet of the imac, a breakthrough move for the category. To make a habit of connecting dots, create a live stimulus wall and ask everyone from your business to add something to it that caught their eye each week. As a team, take pause once a week and see how you might start putting unusual dots together. Sometimes the answers flow, other times it feels forced. It’s all part of the innovation process. Keep connecting the dots in uncommon ways until you start to feel the flow of creativity.