What you know depends a lot on who you know, and groundbreaking innovation occurs on the fringes of your knowledge and network. How do you find your way to that space?
The other day I was talking to one of our members. He told me that the first time he went to SIG event was last year. He said that after he left the event, he was not impressed by the SIG. He was skeptical about the entire idea of Strategic Interest Group Events. I was a little taken aback, because he had just delivered a wonderful best-practice sharing presentation. He had said several times during his presentation that something he was now doing was something that he had heard about at a SIG event.
He explained. At that first SIG event, discussion was interesting but did not seem relevant. But then, the next week he was faced with a situation to which he could apply something he had heard at the SIG. This happened again a little later. It didn’t happen often, but once in awhile he was faced with a situation that was helped by what he had heard.
Fast forward to early 2017. The member’s company hosted a SIG event, and the member gave a wonderful presentation. He and his team had solved several difficult problems. They had saved money and cleared the way for new business. He said several times that he hoped that the people in the room would be able to apply some of the things that he was talking about.
Was it likely that they went back to their office and applied something they had heard that morning? No, of course not.
Was it likely that they were able to apply something the next day? Again, not very likely.
So, when do you get to use what you heard at a SIG event?
Well, maybe never!
On the other hand, when you expose yourself to diverse perspectives, whether those perspectives come from different industries, cultures, fields, or people, you lay the groundwork for serendipity and innovation.
Don’t get suckered into believing that logical explanations, recommendations, pathways, and approaches will lead you to success. Innovation is not always obvious or logical. Invest in serendipity and put yourself in places to stockpile new ideas. In other words, come to EMC SIG events!