Be less boring
This week I discovered the best thing I’ve seen in a while – the Kid President. After seeing a link come up on my Twitter feed repeatedly, I clicked it out of curiosity and found myself both laughing and crying at the utter cuteness and profundity spouted by this little kid, who starts off telling you, quite frankly: ‘I think we all need a pep talk.’
The kid is undeniably cute so it’s hard not to like this video. But there’s a reason that I’m not the only grown-up passing this link around: Kid President has a point. It made me think about the work we do in innovation, and how much that feeling of creating new things with the potential “to make the world awesome” drives what we do.
The unpredictable and iterative process of uncovering insights, considering customer needs and channelling market shifts into fresh ideas is great because you don’t know what you’re going to stumble upon. The often difficult thing is that you also can’t always anticipate the time, energy and emotion it will take to get there.
So that’s why making the days count – particularly at work – is crucial. How do you do that, when you can’t always predict what the day will require from you? The Kid President has figured it all out.
1) “Be less boring.” His mission – trying to make grown-ups less boring – is a worthy effort. The less boring you are, and the more interests you cultivate, the more inspirations and ideas you’ll come across and bring in to your work. Letting more of who you are seep into the workplace – whether that’s a love for Prince’s Greatest Hits album or a deep knowledge of every new street food truck in the surrounding area – throws something fresh into the ring and gives your colleagues and clients something to think on outside of the daily routine.
2) “Create something that will make the world awesome.” Addressing problems by starting with real consumer insights is the starting point in making solutions that work and that have true impact. Making the world awesome is easy when you start from thinking about other people, and taking on their perspective when you consider the options – this applies to everything from real customers to the people you work with every day. Talk to people, ask questions, understand the root of problems and think boldly about how you can solve them.
3) “It’s everybody’s duty to give the world a reason to dance.” Each day is an opportunity to make cool things happen – large or small, the power is yours. Positive energy goes a long way when the days are longer than expected and the problems tougher to deconstruct. Your world is as small or as big as you make it, so give the people around you a reason to dance. For example, this week we’re having an office bake-off – and nothing makes me want to dance like a table of baked goods.
One of the reasons I love working at Market Gravity is that the environment and people create the kind of energy you need to keep pushing towards game-changing ideas. Environment is a crucial part of innovation – not just the physical space, but the team around you, the degree to which you can collaborate with them, foster curiosity, ask difficult questions, and maintain good humour and sanity in the process. This certainly lies in the softer end of strategy, but a crucial consideration nonetheless. Work is a part of your life, but given how much life we put into our work these days, doesn’t it seem like we should take the path that leads to awesome?
“You got air coming out your nose, your heart’s beating – that means it’s time to do something.” – Thank you, Kid President.
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