Efficiency is the name of the game at Agents of Efficiency (obviously) so we’re making it even more efficient for you to improve your business. Every week, we sort through all the boring stuff to bring you only the best tips from the wide world of the web. For this week’s #2tips4tues, we look at the challenge of generating new ideas.
Walk It Off
When we’re bogged down with the practicalities of running a business, we need to keep the juices flowing to evolve and stay relevant. This can’t happen in the midst of constant drudgery, so be sure to set time to generate and incubate ideas. Walking has long been touted for its ability to clear our heads and allow ideas to marinate in just the right way. Make sure you carve out time to step away from your desk to get fresh air and move your legs. Most importantly: value this time by setting a standing appointment in your calendar every day. If necessary, tie it to a socially acceptable excuse such as getting coffee or meeting a friend, but be sure NOT to do those things. And, like we’ve discussed at AoE before, leave your phone behind. The precious 30 minutes you carve out must not be interrupted. Your mind’s realization that instant distraction isn’t available will allow better ideas to surface.
With regular walks, a swirl of ideas will come, some small and some big. Some of those ideas will resolve sticky situations that have perplexed you. Others might be opportunities for areas of growth, and since they may be outside of your company’s core competencies, you’ll want to test their viability. As described by Grace Ng, an excellent process to test ideas is interviewing current and potential customers: “The goal of customer interviews is to collect detailed stories on customer mentality, behavior, and frustrations. Ideally, this is done in person, or over Skype, so you can dig deeper into the answers they provide. This builds empathy, uncovers richer insights, and reveals opportunities you could solve for that you may not have considered before.”