This is the second of a two part blog from Guest Contributor, Mona Reiser. You can read the first one in the link below:
In a previous blog, I mentioned that I would return with a follow-up on an Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) article on Matt Arnett’s “A Curated Life” article. The second sentence that was “business/leadership attributable” was the following: “I’d prefer to illuminate trends rather than follow them.”
The above article was published in the Sunday Living Section of the AJC. Before I provide my thoughts on this sentence, I would like to share the importance of diverse reading for business people. Though our lives are incredibly rich (and at times overwhelming due to the power of the Internet) in reading material, all business professionals do need to spend a few ‘Southern’ minutes reading from all sorts of different categories and topics. Some of these include: business magazines and articles, futuristic and innovation articles, Smart briefs and books of interest (I am not beyond a good beach chick lit read!) This would potentially expose you to applications that are being offered, tested or implemented in other areas than the ones you are performing today. If you find one of interest, do the research and discover the potential applications on what you might be using today.
Matt Arnett’s sentence reminded me of my own example of illuminating a trend. Back in the early 2000’s, when I had the opportunity to lead a transportation organization; I came up with the crazy idea of possibly using our own private fleet of trucks to potentially backhaul other companies’ freight from the general area of the original delivery. The concept was probably picked up from a trade article or some other reading. Was this already a trend in the industry, but maybe a bit too early? After numerous discussions with my management team and a few test/pilot runs; we offered up the idea to the Leadership (putting it under the header of a productivity initiative, which tends to have a higher level of acceptance). We received approval to go-ahead with the plan.
Have you had the opportunity to illuminate a trend or were you just following the trend? Did you have that “Hey this is an interesting article and idea. Could it have an application for me, my team or my company?” Innovative ideas can come from so many different places. Take the opportunity to look for new ideas, find ways to successfully apply them and start your own new trend.