Connect the unconnected

I wrote about it before, but I can’t stress it enough; sometimes you need to bring in people from other fields of expertise. People that know little or nothing about the problem you’re working on.

Of course it seems counter-intuitive to share your specialist problem with people unfamiliar with your business. However, there are valid reasons to do exactly this.

People that look at your situation from a different perspective often will ask the simple questions that specialists easily overlook. They will ask you why you do things a certain way. They will inquire if there isn’t a better way to go about it. If you’re lucky they might even bring fresh insights and inspiring examples from different industries that get you on your way. Finally, these reinforcements will often come up with creative solutions especially because they’re not held back by thought patterns that are predominant in your particular market.

We at HatRabbits are convinced that bringing in ‘fresh brains’ can help solve the most complicated issues that have frustrated professionals for months, or even years.

Whenever we set up our Creative ThinkTank, we urge our client to consider bringing in fresh thinkers from outside the industry. Some organisations are reluctant to share their problems with outsiders. Luckily there are also enterprises that recognize the value (or even necessity) of some sharp questions and provocative statements from uncluttered minds.

When we get the green light to bring in expert outsiders, we invite both specialists on the subject and thinkers with unexpected backgrounds.

I’ll give you an example of such a ThinkTank. A while ago we organized a session to find new approaches for a serious social problem; weapon fascination and violence among youngsters in the problem areas of the big European cities.

Of course we invited people who know a whole lot about this problem. Among the thinkers were the commissioner of police, a youth probation officer, a criminologist and a former not-very-law-abiding citizen. People who know what happens on the streets. People that work with, know or study juvenile offenders.

We also invited a second group of thinkers. Among them an auditor, a well known actress, a manager of a big oil company, a journalist, a lawyer and an elementary school teacher.

It is true that the people from the second group might well propose approaches that have been tried in the past. They might even suggest things that are utterly impossible because of technical limits or legal boundaries. However, they might just as well utter a solution that nobody has thought of before. Something inspired by the way things are done in other places. Or based on experiences that are uncommon among the people who struggled with the problem before.

Have you been struggling with a problem for longer than you’re comfortable with? Does your organisation seem stuck? Is there a pressing matter that keeps hurting your business? A session with some bright outsiders might be just what you need. Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to inform you about the possibilities.

Just send us an email or give us a call.

Photo © Jennifer Rogers

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