I got off the Subway a stop early this morning to see a new installation in Bryant Park. The exhibit, Walk the Walk, consists of seven women all dressed in the same yellow dresses, walking around on an elevated yellow platform. The women shuffle around with indifference to their routine, expressionless with nowhere to go but around and around.
When I read first read about this exhibit in the New York Times, it made me think about how we often get stuck in our routine. It also made me think about how the practice of innovation pushes us outside these comfort zones. It’s not easy for most of us to step out of our day to day. Efficiency has been the way of the working world. (Although in some cases the act of efficiency is innovation.) Efficiency, however, does not afford us to take the time to ponder and explore the “what if’s”. Taking the time to do such exploration is not the obvious direct route to greener pastures.
There are simple things one can do to break out of the daily grind. Every once in a while I try to take a different route to work so that I can be exposed to new things; just doing something small can expose one to new possibilities. A lot of what we teach here at futurethink is about how to step out of our boxes, how to explore the seemingly impossible and escape the monotony of the day to day.
To better innovate, we must avoid being the woman in the yellow dress.