Learning what others have done with the new tools and resources available to them provides inspiration and challenge on what could be possible in your work, team and organisation. I call this shopping for inspiration. The intent doesn’t spring from a slavish desire to merely duplicate the exact technical configuration in your own organisation—blind to the cultural and organisational differences between them and you—but rather as an eye-opening experience to see what you haven’t seen as possible before. It’s about a-ha (but not this one). It’s about challenge. It’s about provoking new ways of seeing. It’s about forcing a recalibration of what could be possible.
The core principle of shopping for inspiration is that if someone else has already done it, then you could too. That means it is possible, but not that it is necessarily applicable to your work or organisation however. Applicability requires judgment and thoughtful analysis, but that step can come later.
Shopping for inspiration is easy in our networked world:
- Look at the case studies available from vendors. They’re everywhere.
- Use YouTube to find video interviews with other organisations doing something with the new tools and resources of interest to your work. Many conferences are starting to video record their sessions, and post these for later review.
- Attend a local user group meeting in your city, to network with others. Start with a search on Meetup.
- Join a for-fee professional networking group in your city or country. Step Two runs the Intranet Leadership Forum in Australia, and there are others that I’ve spoken at including J.Boye and IntraTeam. These are examples; there are others.
- Sign-up for a multi-day conference with a strong customer track, and attend as many sessions as you can to learn.
Shopping for inspiration is another way of introducing uncertainty into an established setting, which is a good thing.