“Ideas are the beginning points of all fortunes.” ~ Napoleon Hill. Last year I was in a meeting with a bunch of business owners and leaders from different industries and backgrounds. One guy was celebrating that his new patented surgical device adapted for premature babies for heart and brain operations had just been picked up by 3 local hospitals. Not only would this save countless babies lives by making very serious operations for such small delicate babies much safer, it was going to be very lucrative for his company. That was one good idea right?
Then, a guy who works in the veterinary field asked the question; “Do you think that your surgical device would also work on small animals?” Sure. And, a whole new world was opened up for him. How much do you think that idea could be worth over five years? My guess is millions! Do you think that a group of medical doctors would have come up with it? I doubt it.
One of the secrets to coming up with truly radical new ideas is that they typically come from someone outside your own industry. The walls of the thinking ‘box’ of your industry can be invisibly thick. You speak the same language, look at the same data, and see the same patterns. We all see through the lens of our own worldview and realities. The more we work in an industry or field, the more it defines the box of our thinking. That’s why it is so important that you have a group of people that are from a variety of backgrounds and industries to bounce ideas around with. Even though everyone will come to the table with their own filters, there will be a diversity of viewpoints.
Who do you know who comes from a different industry or field for whom you value their wisdom? What one or two people can you rely on to call with you need some ‘outside of the box’ thinking on a difficult issue, challenge or opportunity. Can you join a mastermind group or roundtable monthly to be challenged and to offer your wisdom to others?
There are some genius ideas out there for you. Diversify your input and see what can happen for you.