Where do you go to do inspired work?

Water is a Place of Inspiration

When focused, creative, deep thinking work is needed, where do you go to be inspired?

I find my routine office space just doesn’t fit the bill when I’m trying to synthesize information and knowledge.  That’s when I find a new place or time to empower my highest skills.  I …

  • take my work to the park. Of course, this really only works in the summer here in the north, if you want to be outside.  If you have a small team, consider renting a lodge for the day or a pavilion.
  • find another space at a different building within my company. If you work for a large company, they likely have rooms to reserve in different buildings.
  • go to a friend’s house, one that has their business in their home. Chances are they may have a space just right for spreading out for the day to do your deep thinking, alone or with a small team.
  • work in a different time of day, just for a specific project.  For me, it is early, early morning or late at night after everyone in my house has gone to sleep.
  • break the work into chunks and inspire my creativity with seemingly unrelated activities that activate my right brain, such as taking a walk, collaging with magazine pictures, listening to Mozart, baking.  Those are my ways and you probably have different ways to activate your right brain.

Don’t be shy about making the space or time fit the important work you want to get done;  that is what keeps your business moving forward.

Let us know how you inspire your own magic,  we like to be inspired to take our own magic to higher and higher levels.

Learning Something New

What can I learn through my mind’s imagination that is real and accurate, or rather how much can I really learn just through my mind, through thinking?

I keep getting this vision of Dancing with the Stars – you know, the show where stars are paired up with dancers and compete. I don’t really watch the show, but I understand the concept. And I was thinking if I wanted to learn ballroom dancing, well, what might I do?

I could read about ballroom dancing; I could get one of those books that have the dance steps illustrated with 1, 2, 3, 4 arrows; I could watch ballroom dancing on TV; I could observe others ballroom dancing live and in person; and I could do ballroom dancing myself. At what point am I learning ballroom dancing? I think this came forward for me as an example, because while I can dance, dance, dance around a room, I have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing at all – just ask my husband.

So at what point would I be learning ballroom dancing?

When I go to the inner for an answer, I get this image and feeling of being in a room full of air movement, the sound of fabric sweeping by me, the sounds and the movement of dancers dancing in a room. And then I have the feeling of being part of the flow, being in the movement of the dance myself. My whole body gliding in circles around a room, the centrifugal force arcing round and round and round. That’s all in my imagination – I can imagine a multi-sensory experience. But, I still have no skill in paired, structured ballroom dancing.

To really truly learn to dance I’d have to do it, be in the dance, to experience the dance physically and emotionally for myself. Without the experience I can really only guess what I would learn – head, heart, body learn.

And I’d have to choose to be fully present in each moment.

I realize this is an example of learning a physical skill. So what if what I want to learn isn’t in the physical skill realm – like, let’s say, I want to understand why a specific demographic or psychographic group interacts with a totally new-to-them product or service. How do I learn experientially then?

How would you?

 

Are You a Tourist or a Traveler?

“The difference between landscape and landscape is small, but there is a great difference between the beholders.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

There’s this tourist and traveler comparison I love when I think about consumer research approaches. Here goes:

As a tourist I go to some far off exotic land and I have an agenda of activities, I observe the culture at a safe distance, go to the must-see places, maybe a museum or two, eat at restaurants recommended by the hotel concierge or chain restaurants familiar from home, look for newspapers and TV from home, take lots of beautiful pictures of beautiful things to post on FaceBook, and I probably only spend a day or two or maybe three in each city – you get the idea. I’ve had a great experience, but how much new did I learn about myself, about the culture, about the people who live there? I feel like I just touched the surface. This is parallel to my experience in a traditionally formatted (really good) consumer research process.

As a traveler, I immerse into the culture. Move into the rhythm of the place, slow down, spend some time, learn some of the language, wander maybe even get lost in the city, meet regular people doing regular everyday things, have totally unplanned unexpected experiences And, if I’m lucky I may even be invited for a meal at someone’s home. I connect. I know when I leave I have been touched by my experience deeply. I’ve learned so much about myself, about the culture, about the individuals I’ve met. I have stories to share that make me laugh and cry and desire more and more and more of that! This is what we need – this is what the human heart longs for. This is GREAT Consumer Research.

At IdeaConnect (and our alter ego Ah Ha!), in our practice of consumer research (aka LearningConnect), we love to be travelers and guide our clients into the learning experience of a lifetime. Our workshops are face to face (no backroom) and whenever feasible we send our client team out to visit people in their homes, to shop with them, to get to know them, to travel into their world.

And yes, sometimes if they’re lucky, they’re even invited for a memorable meal at someone’s home. Each team member is touched in a different way. They come back with pictures and treasures and stories that make us cry and laugh and want more and more and more of that!