We all want to be inspired. In fact, we crave it.
We’re always searching for inspiration in the form of an article, a book, a movie, a podcast, a city trip, an inspiration tour or a mix of the above.
Unfortunately, the inspirational spark is temporary, and the rush of everyday soon pushes us back to the status quo, unless we do something with that inspiration.
So being inspired isn’t the goal. The goal is to do something with it.
Innovation happens only through action. So, turn your inspiration into ideas and action.
I’m currently working on a change project at Retail Detail in Antwerp. This week, the inspirational platform Home of Retail pre-opened. You can experience the future of shopping in a 1200m2 inspirational environment with virtual reality, robotics and digital solutions. You can book a tour of about 2 hours to get inspired and… also turn that inspiration into concrete action. There are many inspiration tours on the market, the choice is large and depends on the niche you want to explore and the time and money you want to spend.
In all cases, the investment made in these kind of tours is only worthwhile if you can turn that inspiration into action. To do so, a few steps are important:
Prepare for Action
Before starting your tour or visit, you should ask yourself the question ‘Why?’. Why are you visiting something, why do you want to be inspired? What challenges do you want solved? Define your key question. Don’t make it too small, it should be aspirational and allow out of the box thinking. This question defines what needs to be explored, it provides a framework in which you will operate, it paves your way through the jungle of inspiration.
Decompress after your tour
Give space to the insights coming out of the tour. Capture them as quickly as possible. Let the insights and first ideas land on paper, whiteboards, post-its or other useful tools. Share what you’ve learned, stimulate dialogue and build on the insights of your colleagues. Then ask yourself which insights are most relevant to your challenge.
Use a structured approach that helps you generate plenty of ideas. Then select the best ones, again depending on the challenge you formulated and based on the strategic criteria you’ve defined upfront. Develop the most promising ideas into concepts and business cases.
Decide what to do next. Make sure you take concrete steps, like testing assumptions, finding agreement with stakeholders, pitching the concepts to investors or management, forming a project group, etc. Agree on timings and responsibilities.
Inspiration is great. Inspiration feels good, it can even be addictive and hold us back from real action. Make sure to translate inspiration into concrete action by following a creative process that builds the bridge.