Explore beyond the bounds of what you think is realistic.
I like to help people find out what makes their company unique, then cultivate the spirit and strength behind that. I'm always amazed that people think they can buy a software product off a shelf and bolt it into their operation and succeed. You have all of these wonderful people with loads of experience working in complicated processes, why not build for that? (The alternative is to give your people really boring manuals and new processes that don't fit your business and then subject them to remedial training.)
If you're willing to pay attention to the details, push a bit, risk a bit, you're likely to find some great opportunities along the way. That's the part that really gets me going!
In my role leading innovation at DevFacto, I’m always working to help people make the time to break things down. To explore the intersections between all of their ideas, find the best opportunities, and then push to deliver the best impact in that space. That means aligning people on a few incredible ideas, while keeping the typical challenges at bay. Those challenges come in many forms, like complexity, information overload, an unhealthy obsession with scope or arbitrary deadlines. My work often has me exploring new frameworks or methodologies. I eagerly sift through them to see how they might slow us down around certain points. Often we humans race towards a solution without thinking things through.
When collaborating with a customer, whether we're aiming to disrupt an industry or making incremental shifts that bring a noticeable impact, we can't nail the strategy until we've understood the details. And I push our teams to make time to get into the details with our customers. Those details shape our understanding of where best to spend our energy, and align on what our moon shot should look like.
A moon shot? On a small project? Well why not? Opportunity is everywhere. Innovation only happens when people are ready to dig deep, work together, and take risks. If you want to make an impact, you have to be ready to take a risk.
As I work through a project, I'm the opposite of risk-averse. In the early stages, we’re just discussing ideas. Why not explore beyond the bounds of what we think is realistic? Does that make me risk-happy? Definitely not risk-averse. I'm risk-ready. And I'd like to help you be risk-ready too!
Taylor Reese is our Principal Innovator based in Edmonton, Alberta. His background is in design and facilitation, but he also loves drawing, cycling, and craft beer. He believes the things we build must improve the lives of those who use them. You can follow some of his adventures on instagram @sketchnote.love, including his series of comforting cartoons on airplane barf bags.