We’re gonna open a SCHOOL!!! Well, sort of…
So, we met with our realtor in Hoboken today and took the very first step toward finding the perfect space for our latest BigHeads “experiment.” Here’s the concept:
Innovation is often the result of random COLLISIONS where ideas from outside your industry are applied to your own. With this in mind, BigHeads Network has created “Collision Course” – a unique creative experiment where start-up entrepreneurs/professionals from completely DIFFERENT disciplines will SHARE A WORKSPACE and uncover approaches, techniques and tools that they could apply to their business (collisions). Over the year-long experiment, FIVE entrepreneurs/professionals will participate each month…giving a total of 50-60 individuals the opportunity to take the “course.”
Want to get involved? Shoot John Palumbo a note - email@example.com
What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from The Housewives & Reality TV
Here’s a link to our innovation lecture about “Using Open-Source Collaboration and Crowdsourcing to Create Big Ideas for Brands and Beyond.” Enjoy…
What CEOs Can Learn from the OTHER Boss
Here at BigHeads, we’re BIG believers in the fact that you can uncover a universe of new ideas and solutions by looking outside of your four walls and collaborating with individuals from other disciplines, cultures and interests.
To that point, below is a link to an article from US News & World Report that features an UNEXPECTED source of inspiration for CEOs - BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN.
We thought this was timely since The Boss just released his new album and his current tour is right here in our backyard for the next few days.
Fuijifilm launches anti-aging creams made with the same ingredient that prevents photographs from fading.
It’s another great example of taking an approach from one industry and applying it to another…..WE LOVE IT!
CONNECTING-THE-DOTS (by John Palumbo)
Like everyone, I get asked the ol’ “So, what do you do for a living?” question quite a lot…and I am always tempted to respond by saying, “I connect the dots.”
Back in 2006, I founded BigHeads Network which is a think tank made up of creative minds, experts, visionaries and problem-solvers from all different backgrounds and disciplines. And we bring this melting-pot of talent together with companies and organizations to create new ideas and help solve formidable problems.
Oftentimes we are able to create an innovative idea or crack-the-code to a long-standing problem by borrowing (some might call it “stealing”) and applying approaches our BigHeads use in their world.
For example, we might take techniques used by a tattoo artist and use them to help a credit card company…or borrow a tool from the car restoration industry and use it to inspire an innovative cosmetic product…or mimic the behavior of bees (as demonstrated by a beekeeper) and apply that to a hotel chain to create more efficient processes.
Of course, there are all different names for this type of approach that are used in the innovation industry. Some call it “Lateral Wisdom”…others call it “Intersections”…while others call it “Adjacencies.”
The term they use is irrelevant. What really matters is the fact that in order to do this successfully, you really need to be an expert at, well…connecting-the-dots.
Now, when it comes to connecting-the-dots in the innovation space there are two things that you need to be incredibly good at.
First, you have to know how to get lots of information out of very different people. Personally, I become part investigator…part talk show host…part nosy neighbor…because I ask all different questions that allow me to probe our BigHeads’ disciplines, experiences, passions and interests to learn about…what they do…things they know…tools they use…experiences they’ve had…all in the context of the issue I’m trying to solve.
For example, if a cosmetics company asks us to help them create ideas (products, packaging, displays, etc.) that will help “improve the color choosing experience at retail” for their core consumer…I know that we can’t simply go out and ask our brain trust how they would solve that issue, because that’s not their world. That’s industry jargon that will most likely lead them to lose interest (maybe even put them to sleep).
Instead, I go out and ask them questions about their experiences “making color choices.” That’s a topic they can all connect with. That’s a topic they will be interested in. That’s a topic they can address.
Of course, the process doesn’t stop there…
The second thing you need to master, when it comes to playing this particular game of connect-the-dots, is seeing/making connections between the disparate information you’re getting and the problem you are trying to solve.
For example, when a car restoration guru starts talking about a tool he uses in his industry to mix paint colors that will match the original color used on the car…you need to be able to make the connection and say, “I can use that approach for the cosmetics company!”
Now I wish I could tell you that this step is something you can practice and learn and ultimately master, but I honestly don’t know if it is. You see, for me, making those connections is very easy…almost natural. In fact, I have been told over the years that I have a strange (almost freakish) “sixth sense” when it comes to seeing connections that others don’t.
What I do know is that many people find this step very difficult (which is probably why companies and organizations come to us to do it for them). But that’s not to say you can’t figure it out or find someone who has the ability to do it. I’m sure you can. And when you do, it will open up a world of creativity and opportunities and solutions that you might have been missing out on all this time.
And here you were thinking that connecting-the-dots was child’s play.
Could Bamboo Surfboards Inspire Bamboo Cars?
A Navy Seal Teaching CEOs
(By the way, our Navy Seal BigHead provided camouflage “blending” tactics/insights to a cosmetics company to help innovate their foundation products. Read about it here.)
What Teachers Can Learn from Jay Z