The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Kate Greenaway, 1888 (Wikimedia Commons)
How many times as children did we hear from our parents, or as parents ourselves say to our children, "Go play outside."?
It's code for: you've spent enough time inside / in front of a screen / annoying your sibling / bugging me; go do something else.
It's a good lesson.
"Geniuses differ from ordinary men less in the character of their attention than in the nature of the objects upon which it is successively bestowed."
– William James [tweet this]
Regardless of what vertical industry you ply your trade—manufacturing, retail, food and beverage, technology, financial services, etc.—or the department in which you sit (marketing, HR, communications, IT, etc.), it's important to get out of your bubble.
It's easy and tempting to simply rely on the experience of what we know and of those around us. But when we open our eyes to things that aren't obvious, to instances that we might think don't apply to us or our area of business, it can be transformative.
While I was on the communications team at Ford, we made it our business to study other industries and their approach to marketing and communications, rather than blithely following our competitors. Our aim was to be the best in all industry, not just the best in our industry.
The human mind and spirit doesn't care whether you're trying to sell them a car, a burger, a phone, a pair of jeans, or a summer vacation. It cares about the overall experience, the information required to make a decision, and how they felt while the experience was happening.
So go find some examples that resonate with people, that make you feel a certain way, and that stand out from the same-old, same-old of your industry.
Go play outside.