It’s nearly March and, thanks to the weird winter weather we’ve had in the UK, we’re already surrounded by daffodils, crocuses and nodding catkins – inspiring signs of spring. So whilst sleet lashed the office windows (!) I asked around the team for things they found inspirational. The result was an eclectic mix that showed that inspiration, for people, businesses and brands comes in many shapes and sizes – without a single, dusk lit team of rowers or mountain top accompanied by a saccharin copy line amongst them!
So what’s inspiring for you... your business... your team... your customers?
What's inspiring for success, delight, productivity, engagement, sales, recommendation, work life balance…. and all those positive things that make life, the universe and everything better? And in business terms, stronger and more successful?
Is it something that stops you in your tracks? Makes you think differently to truly realise an opportunity or solve a risk or threat? Makes you smile and feel all warm and cosy? Or spurs you into action – to be audacious, to take control and grasp the future?
One of the team offered up Virgin Galactic, and it has to be said that Mr Branson has been inspired and does inspire. Virgin Galactic is perhaps the extreme - not just because of what it is and what it can do but because it’s the embodiment of the Richard Branson’s personality: pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in business, brands and space travel without any political agenda is pretty inspiring.
Here's something absolutely more down to earth:
Hull container farms – just clever, simple, inspiring upcycling
Along with Todmorden’s Incredible Edibles movement
Brilliant ideas to inspire on a practical community level.
Where could inspiring thinking enable your business and deliver its future? Via the brands, the people, the processes – or I would hope, a mixture of all of those.
1% inspiration and 99% perspiration maybe the case but without the 1% the 99% will either never happen or be a shadow of its true potential. Barcelona without Gaudi’s architectural inspiration would not welcome the over 7.5m tourists and all the income they bring.
Inspiration doesn’t have to shout loudly from ornate roof tops though… sometimes a whisper can be even louder, especially in the dark where the blind can lead the blind to create inspirational employment opportunities and a truly inspirational experience. Trust me, sharing delicious food you can’t see with friends or colleagues in complete darkness, opens up the senses and communication channels in utterly new and inspiring ways!
Just to get those inspirational juices flowing here are some more from the Ideas Group team:
Selling bottles of air to the polluted Chinese:
Inspired, funny, or just down right cheeky?
Being sold as ‘premium novelty’ product. Acceptable or not? It certainly raises some difficult questions.
Using sign language icons as a communications app
An inspiring inventor and the inspiring people who began using something in different ways?
Billion Dollar Vision
An effective piece of Internal Communications for a Global organisation’s $1 Billion Vision has to resonate with and inspire everyone at all levels in the business to be understood and engaging.
Audaciously adding inspiring emotional and a techie twists has reaped rewards: certainly not pie or plant in the sky!
The much respected guys at the likes of McKinsey or KPMG provide the IQ. Being inspiring and inspired adds the crucial EQ to deliver even better results.
Simply, inspiration makes things happen: Hard-nosed bottom line tactics to long-term strategic goals and enables people and businesses to truly engage with their aspirations, and deliver their futures.
Without the 1% inspiration the 99% perspiration may never bring your business that light bulb moment.