Posted: April 24, 2007
I’m often inspired by those who surround me. I try to make it a point to hire and socialize with individuals who know more than I do and who will constantly challenge me so that I continue to grow.
And I’m in the fortunate position to be able to choose most of my friends and coworkers but, as is the case with family, you don’t always get to choose your clients. At VisionPoint, however, we’ve been very fortunate to be in a position where the majority of our clients fall into the ‘thoughtful/challenging’ category as well.
I recently had lunch with one such client and he said something that I found INCREDIBLY inspirational and fresh: "What would Peter Gabriel do?" As peculiar as it may sound, when this successful, multi-talented Director at a leading Biotechnolgy firm finds himself at a decision-making cross-roads in his professional life, he does not look for advice from a business guru or even from a higher-power. He looks to Peter Gabriel.
- What would Peter Gabriel do about this new product launch?
- Would Peter Gabriel support this research effort?
Most people know Peter Gabriel for his popular music of the late 1980’s (In Your Eyes, Sledgehammer, Red Rain, etc) but what they don’t know (and what my cleint DOES know) is that he has been a true pioneer and visionary in everything from interactive media to performing arts to business and so on. He brings a new perspective to EVERYTHING he does and for more than 40 years he’s exhibited an UNWAVERING commitment to transcendent creativity.
And this is what my client finds inspiration in. He draws from the qualities that Mr. Gabriel exhibits … the qualities that he would like to exhibit in his own life and in business: creativity, longevity, innovation, invention.
SO I started thinking about this theme of finding inspiration outside of the normal avenues.
If it’s a business decision, does that mean I need to look to Peter Drucker, Tom Peters or Michael Porter? (hmmm, lots of ‘Peters’ in this blog entry for some reason … anyway…) Why not open the latest issue of Science Magazine to see how a ‘molecular interferometer’ diagram could act as a model for the way I present our service offerings in my next sales pitch?
When developing the information architecture for a large-scale higher education web site, why not take notice of how PBSKids.com deals with third-level and on-page navigation?
When developing the new company org chart for growth over the next three years, why not take note from Bill Bellicheck (coach of the three time Superbowl Champs, the New England Patriots) about the importance of having players who are versitile and maleable? (I often ask myself ‘WWBBD?')
Creative thought and inspiration is something that crosses the boundaries of all markets, industries, verticals. Once you understand the fundamentals, you can apply those to everything from music composition to higher education to the synthetic foam industry to health sciences to dentistry and beyond.
Where do you find inspiration?