Once a month I have a “boys night out at the movies” with a group of other guys. We normally have a quick drink, see a movie (I’m voting for Lesbian Vampire Killers next) then a quick discussion afterwards.
As the amateur film critic, I have developed a pattern of thought in where I ask myself “Are the characters in 3D?”. By this I mean – not only do I understand a character’s choices, but I understand why they are making those choices. I don’t want the best mate character to just be goofy, I want to appreciate the timeline that got him to the point where he is now the goofy side kick.
Why am I writing all this down? Well I’ve been thinking about the endless discussion I tend to be involved in around innovation. A constant concern for me is that I simply don’t get why there is so much conversation. For me innovation is a natural occurrence, like breathing, so why talk about it so much? We don’t call ourselves “big advocates for breathing” and have breathing conferences do we?
Anyway, last week’s insight was to think about myself the same way as I do about movies and ask “How did Brendan come to the table with this attitude about innovation?”.
The answer was a bit disturbing for me:
- I’ve lived in 22 houses in three states. Eleven whilst I was with my parents and 11 since I left home.
- I attended 3 kindergardens, 2 Primary schools, 2 High Schools & two Universities.
- I have had 6 careers in 25 years; software engineer, soldier, accountant, salesman, marketer & entrepreneur.
- Have setup new operations for others in Australia, Romania, Hong Kong, Vietnam & Indonesia.
- I’ve been a foundner of co-founder of six businesses; Ideas Lighting, Carradale Media, Edion, Verve IT, Flinders Pacific & The Churchill Club.
I realised that probably the one constant in my life has been change. No wonder I can’t understand why people talk about innovation. Innovation is simply about change that adds value, and I don’t know anything else.
So my advice is that the next time you are in negotiation with some staff, don’t just think about their position, think like it was a movie and ask yousrelf, “how did they get to this position?” The insight is well worth it.