How many times have you been in a familiar place and noticed something (that’s always been there) for the very first time? Perhaps you’ve walked down the same street on your way home for years but one day notice an interesting building set back from the road. You then notice that building every other time you walk past.
Our lives are so busy – we rush from one place to another, from one task to another, that we rarely stop to think about what we are doing, whether it is the right way of doing it or whether there is a better thing to be doing altogether. We don’t allow ourselves to become distracted from what is around us.
I recently took part in a brilliant outdoor innovation workshop called Street Wisdom. It encouraged the participants to slow down, observe and think about what is around us – to use our environment as a source of inspiration for thinking differently and tacking questions that might have previously proved difficult to solve.
I went to the workshop with a question that had been stuck in my head for a while. When I left, my head was buzzing with new ideas.
A workshop such as Street Wisdom might seem, to some, like a luxury – taking three hours out of your day to indulge your mind. However, breaking routine and giving you (or your team) opportunity to see/think differently is the key to successful innovation – something I think charities would particularly benefit from.