Right here, yesterday when I took a walk during lunch, I got a brilliant idea. I cannot tell you the idea yet, but it’s really good. I got it as I was browsing a book, a cookery book, actually, written by a character in Sweden, Per Morberg. Quite a funny guy, actually, he is an actor, a chef, an author, a hunter you name it —and he has a huge ego.
Browsing magazines and books that are far away from your own business, and perhaps your comfort zone, is extremely productive if you are looking for new ideas, need to find solutions to a problem or want a new angle on things. It could be how to improve user experience in business software; preparing a witty introduction to a speech or presentations, or how to engineer the landing gear on a satellite…you name it. Let yourself be influenced by ideas and emotions from businesses outside your own.
Every time I go shopping at the supermarket, at the very end I go to the magazine shelf and browse through magazines on Photoshop, hunting, interior design, cars or boats, or whatever—and I just let my brain scan them for new influences. As I see pictures, headlines and people I try to put them into the context I’m working with right now. And a new idea pops up almost every time, or a new angle to problem is visualized in my head.
Try this technique the next time you go shopping.
When the voice in the loudspeaker says “We have a child who cannot find his parent, please come to the meeting point”, then you have been reading too long.