Greetings.  I woke up this morning thinking about the world we share.  Not the crazy, crowded and conflicted planet filled with so many problems and challenges. Though that world certainly warrants our collective attention and genius.  But the remarkable, diverse and amazing planet that on its best days reveals the limitless potential of people, organizations and nature.  And it sparked a powerful idea that is always with me…

Try to imagine that you and your company or organization could have access to all the best thinking and insight in the entire world.  Any idea from anywhere or anyone.  From other businesses, communities, cultures or from other people very different than you.  Even from other species.  If you could, would that make you more successful in meeting the needs of your customers?  The best thinking about products, services or solutions.  The best thinking about systems, tools and techniques.  The best thinking about science or technology.  The best thinking about how to create the most amazing customer experience or about how to build greater teamwork and employee engagement.  It sounds like a crazy idea, and until recently it would have been.  But today we are only a few mouse clicks away from a wealth of knowledge and insight about practically anything that is going on or has gone on in the past.  And we're only a few more clicks away from some of the best thinking about what might occur in the future.  Sure it would be even better to head out to the far corners of the earth, but we don't have to in order to discover their genius. 

This is powerful idea, and yet all too often we cast a very narrow net in trying to create new opportunities or resolve pressing problems.  First we brainstorm, in the hope that someone in the room is clever enough to come up with a new and more powerful alternative.  And maybe it happens.  But is it the best idea we can come up with?  Then, failing that, we look around at the comfortable confines of our "known world" to see who else in our industry has a better way of doing things. After all, what could be better than copying their best practice.  But what if our industry isn't close to being brilliant at what we are trying to accomplish?  And besides, can we win by being the same as our competitors?  And only then, if we are bold enough to stretch our thinking, do we reach out to other industries and familiar places in search of better ideas.  But how far do we actually look?

Globe in Hands

We win in business by being different in ways that matter to those we serve.  But doing this means looking for ideas and inspiration in very different places.  Where will you cast your net today?