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Leaders: Stimulate Fresh Thinking

As a devoted internet surfer and blog geek I am always surprised at how slowly revolutionary ideas, products, services and experiences move to the offline world. This is evident in noting the lag time between the appearance of an idea online and the appearance of that idea in the broadcast media or daily conversation. By the time the nightly news is reporting X the internet is a buzz with Y and Z considering X to be old news.

Is this the case where you lead? Is your team stagnant, the same opinions, information sources and perspectives lead to the same old insights? Do your weekly, monthly or annual strategy meetings consist of the same 12 people discussing the same 5 ideas over and over?

Many leadership books and gurus recommend tactics for stretching your teams perspective through travel, diverse magazine reading, uniquely creative off-site experiences and other techniques designed to foster exposure to a variety of new perspectives that will hopefully result in useful "a-ha" insights.

These days the internet is full of varying perspectives and conversations about all kinds of different subjects.

Stimulating fresh thinking:

Read a Diverse Blogroll – model and teach team members the value of cultivating a diverse collection of blog feeds in an RSS reader. It's no longer difficult to track 200+ different discussions about a wide variety of topics.

Study the Lag Time – notice the lag time between ideas, news and opinions appearing online and offline. Whether it's in mass media or casual conversation you will discover the people and sources that are the most dialed in to relevant ideas.

Use the Cool New Tools and Services – New web based services and tools are introduced and discussed all the time. Monitor these discussions and experiment with these new tools. The next time you are involved, online or off, in a discussion about flickr, ta-da lists, Technorati, Pub-Sub, Basecamp, Feedburner, Bloglines, etc. you can participate intelligently. Being current helps you see new combinations and opportunities.

Start a "Blog Club" – Like a book club but for blogs. Start a discussion amongst your team about particular blogs and related blogs. Create a base of common knowledge about A-list blogs. Make sure every one is reading certain must read blogs. Thought leadership is out there. Find it and talk about it.

Track New Ideas in Internal Wikis, Del.icio.us Lists or Blogs – If you set you six team members loose and ask them to each come back with three fresh relevant ideas for your next management team meeting what's to say their won't be duplicate's? Building a team blog or wiki to track these new ideas can help avoid duplication. Make sure team members are reading and contributing to the collective regularly.

First equip and train team members to find relevant new ideas and then challenge them to use the tools to branch out of group-think and find new insights in unexpected areas. The power of fresh ideas and vision for your business, division or department is worth it.

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May 26, 2005 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Current Affairs, Travel, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink

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Tracked on May 26, 2005 6:47:48 PM

Comments

This is a wonderful post. I have personally come across various situations where things have looked boring and stagnant - because of lack of fresh and cool dimensions of thought..there was a time when everybody had just reached a block. They cudn't think beyond that certain mould of the idea. It was quite demoralising.

Blogs weren't a tool for information, knowledge and communication then. But definitely, today we have no excuse to face the music of a situation like this. We have too many sources from where we can add newness to our stale patterns of thinking.

Cheers!

Armand Rousso

Posted by: Armand Rousso | Jun 4, 2005 4:10:12 AM