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When leaders are open

When we’re open to ideas they often emerge unexpectedly, almost out of nowhere.

“Where do you come up with these ideas,” I’ve heard leaders ask people, almost incredulously.  Interestingly many creative types don’t necessarily come up with the ideas. Instead, they’re tuned into the world in a wide open frequency, and they find ideas. Or people suggest things to them and they have the interest and courage to say, “Huh. What if we took that idea and….”

The challenge as leaders is to be open. To not have our plans so locked down that there isn’t room for a new approach. To not think of “research” in only the traditional market research ways. To listen to people and take in not just the idea, but how the person feels about the idea. Is there a certain hunger, drive, passion in how the person is sharing an idea?  That’s always a signal for me to tune in. This just might not be business as usual.

Here’s a TED talk from Eric Whitacre who, with two thousand other people around the world, created a magical virtual choir. And it started with a young woman sending him a video with an idea and Eric saying, “huh…what if….”

Take a look. Inspiring. A reminder to me to keep some white space open for opportunities that just might come out of left field.