You're Smarter Than You Think

Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA
Richard Citrin Ph.D., MBA

Recently I was talking to a CEO who was sharing about how he is working with his leadership team to think about the “value creation” they make for their customers. For him, value creation means improving his customer’s state of being. He expects his team to meet their customer’s needs and also wants them to go beyond that objective to find new and better ways to think about how their products and services improve their customer’s abilities to serve their customers.

One of the best examples of a value creation company is the vacuum cleaning company, Dyson. While no one would deny that they make great vacuums, today they’ve redefined themselves as a company that makes high velocity engines to power commercial hand dryers, home air purifiers and soon electric car engines. James Dyson may have come up with the original idea for his cyclonic vacuum cleaner, but you can be sure that someone else recognized that they are in their high-speed engines have many other uses, maybe while walking their dog.

Creating new ideas does not require fancy “skunk works” factories or off-site retreats designed to generate brilliant ideas. Instead it requires a kind of quiet presence and commitment to being focused. Asking people to put away devices or close their computers so they can fully engage in the meeting conversation. Talking to clients in a way in which one is fully listening, asking good questions and learning a bit more about their business. Collaborating with colleagues to help solve their dilemma might very well provide insight on how you can solve yours. All these simple steps lead to new ideas, some of which might be a breakthrough.

All of this is to say that we may have several good ideas and maybe a few great ones during a day. Recognizing our own smarts is a much more exciting and rewarding way to be in the world. We tend to self-edit and dismiss them or think they could be better but we all can benefit from putting our ideas down on paper and doing a little pursuing of them.

Your challenge this week: Take note of your good ideas, write them down and review them the next morning. Pick one from this week and consider the actions you can take to put it into play.

© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2019


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