WAYS TO MANAGE INSPIRATION
October 2016

One of my jobs as a leader is to inspire the 78Madison Team. I talk about the importance of passion and being inspired often; so much so that an intern of ours asked me if I had particular ways in which I inspire people? Good question. The answer was of course yes, but I had never put them to paper. So here are eight ways I attempt to manage inspiration.

BRAINSTORM THE PROBLEM WITHOUT BOUNDS
Companies tend to put too many parameters around thinking, so people are not inspired to innovate. But taking off the shackles brings out the best in people and allows participants with different backgrounds to work together. Encourage everyone, including the receptionist, to contribute.

DON’T GET SIDETRACKED
Once an idea comes into focus, stick with it. There are thousands of reasons not to proceed with an idea, and only one that will get it done. People get inspired when they actually see an idea come to fruition.

COLLABORATE
The lone, misunderstood inventor is a myth. Most innovation and inspiration occurs in groups. I want people out of their offices talking, sharing and building. Unfortunately technology has driven most people to put on headphones and stare at their computer all day. I really try to get our team to avoid that.

NEVER LEAVE WELL ENOUGH ALONE
Being inspired is based on striving for continual improvement. As soon as you decide something is good enough, someone will do better. I always want our team to believer “we can do better”.

ENCOURAGE AN INSPIRING CLIMATE AT WORK
A workplace that quashes fresh thinking is stuck in the past. I try hard to encourage people to think and challenge with no bounds. You don’t want to be the last manufacturer of the world’s most perfect buggy whip.

SEPARATE THE WHEAT FROM THE CHAFF
Much as we’d like to think so, every idea does not have the makings of the next Starbucks, iPod, or Post-it-note. Don’t get bogged down. Most ideas are so off base or inappropriate it’s important to quickly put them aside and focus on the good ones; BUT, keep good notes because times and tastes change and those “off base” and “inappropriate” ideas might be a huge hit 5 years from now.

DON’T HAMMER DOWN THE NAIL THAT STICKS OUT
Oddballs can be the lifeblood of innovation and inspiration, and often the source of many of the best ideas. Respect diverse views and reward forward thinking, even if it doesn’t result in a big idea right away.

TRY EVERYTHING
Leave no stone unturned and be sure to have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your innovation. It will take hard work, late hours, and countless cold pizzas, but it will be worth the effort.

Be Inspired
Be Innovative
Be Passionate

What do you think? I’d like to hear.

Joe Bouch
CEO, 78Madison

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