Unconventional thinking means looking at the world through an inquisitive, investigative lens, like you did as a child. And this perspective should not be limited just to your work, but permeate your general outlook on life. After all, some of the greatest inspirations and most profound unconventional ideas will come to you in moments and situations completely removed from your business. The whole world is your reservoir for unconventional ideas.
This may seem obvious, but the problem with conventional thinking is that it does not lead to truly new ideas, creativity or innovation. Yet most of us individually and collectively — in our families, businesses and communities — think and behave conventionally.
Most of the time, conventional thinking is fine. Most of your work, your operations and your social interaction can and should be conventional. Conventional usually works and rarely offends.
Conventional thinking about the competition is dangerous. You probably think your competitors — the companies you have to watch out for — are a handful of businesses similar to yours. Yet, those businesses are not really competition. You know where they stand. They know where you stand. You all do pretty much the same conventional things to deliver the same growth and pretty much operate the same way. Those companies are not your most dangerous competition. Rather, it is three millennials in their garage who are dreaming up a product that does 50% of what your product does, but 98% of what your customers want. It will be available for a fraction of the cost of your product. It might even be free. It will be so unconventional that when you first learn about it, you will laugh it off.
Just like Kodak laughed off digital photography. Just like the blacksmiths of Detroit laughed off the Ford Model T.
I wish you a year of unconventional thinking.
Take a look at how I think the county is facing their conventional challenges and where unconventional thinking has an opportunity to exist! View the Montgomery County overview here.