Expand Your Vision

Posted on December 31, 2011 by

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“You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’” – George Bernard Shaw 

If there is one characteristic that sets leaders apart from the rest of the crowd, it’s vision – the ability to see possibilities waiting to be uncovered, coupled with the logistical foresight to make those possibilities reality.  

But how can you broaden your scope to find more opportunities for your business and industry? Here are some ways to stoke your creative fire: 

  • Question with boldness – To get more ideas, ask more questions. The people with whom your path crosses have endless experiences and insights to share, but most won’t openly share without an invitation. Talk with contacts in both your personal and professional circles, asking them about what drives them, what they’ve learned recently, and how they’ve dealt with circumstances similar to what you’re facing. Don’t hesitate to ask follow-up questions, either – and it’s more effective to ask someone what they did next instead of how they felt, to ask how and what instead of just why. While the details of the experiences may not overlap, the insights they can share may apply.
  • Cross-pollinate – One of the best ways to refresh your frame of reference is to look at the world through a new set of eyes. Take time to read trade publications or blogs from industries outside of your own and see how the advice contained therein could apply to your business. How could scientific research methods apply to accounting or law? How can marketing tips help a doctor hone his or her craft? You’d be surprised.
  • Pursue with passion – If you had a day in which you could do absolutely anything, how would you choose to spend that time? Close your eyes and picture it in detail – sights, sounds, flavors, textures. What is it about those experiences and those people that bring you joy? Capture those sparks and channel them into your business to reignite your professional creativity. Without passion, work is drudgery – but with it, work is empowering.

 
Remember Dale Carnegie’s wise words: “We all have possibilities we don’t know about. We can do things we don’t even dream we can do.” That holds true for organizations as well as individuals, but it’s only by taking a risk to venture beyond the obvious boundaries that innovations can come.

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