Why take the road less traveled? [Learnings from DesignThinkers 2016]

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Have you ever decided not to do something because it was too complex? Aka, you decided to avoid the road less traveled? Often the reason for taking the road less traveled is that it is too complicated, too long, too many moving parts. However, I’d argue that taking the road less traveled is actually exactly what we should be doing. Attack the complex, because nobody else is going there.

This kind of mentality really came to light during a recent conference I attended in Toronto. The DesignThinkers Conference hosted by The Association of Registered Graphic Designers. Thinking about the companies I’ve co-founded in the LOGiQ3 Group over the years; LOGiQ3 Corp, APEXA, Cookhouse Lab, I realized that it is exactly what we did and will continue doing. So why is it worth embracing the road less traveled instead of shying away from it?

1. We can’t afford not to.

Let me draw your attention to some of the stats that caught my eye during the DesignThinkers Conference. Loni Stark, Senior Director of Product Marketing at Adobe (who also admittedly has no relation to Tony Stark, although that would have been very cool) shared the following stats about attention spans:

Attention spans are getting shorter, but also more focused:

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I find it fascinating, and a little disconcerting, that in 2015 the average attention span of a human being, is half a second below that of a goldfish.  What do you do with that? You might think, to heck with it, we’ll never be able to fight for attention at that rate.  But if you go this route, from a business perspective you could suffer from not being able to 1) get the attention of customers and 2) engage your employees. While taking this on might be challenging, these are both crucial aspects of your business.

On a very related note, I also learned that Gen Z is said to multi-task on average, across five devices. Instead of viewing this generation as one that can’t focus on a single task, try to understand how you can leverage their ability to juggle several things at a time. We have so much data – use it to take the road less traveled.  

2. It can lead to great things

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I think another reason people shy away from complex projects is the fear of failure. One of the lessons I’ve learned from being in an innovative environment is that, not everything works. The Design Thinkers conference reminded me of this. ‘Your mistakes could change the world’. You can benefit a lot from mistakes and failures if you are willing to see it as a learning opportunity. 

Over the past eleven years, we took on this mentality and charged at places that others wouldn’t.  It wasn’t the easiest path by any stretch of the imagination, and not without stress.  However, we feel that both our successes and lessons learned from failures are helping to make a difference in the insurance industry. Ultimately isn’t that we all want to be a part of?

3. It sparks a true sense of creativity

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This was another one of my favorite messages shared at the conference. I have always been a fan of “the right question” and completely agree that creativity is inspired by asking questions. Jake Barton, Principal and Partner of Local Projects echoed a similar message when he said “Success is an explosion of ideas”.  I think both of these happen when you take the road less traveled. If no one has ever tackled the situation, curiosity is the only way to carve the path.  

In fact, asking questions is exactly what we are encouraging in Cookhouse Lab, the latest venture from LOGiQ3 Group. The Lab is a collaborative environment that will facilitate innovation in the InsurTech space. One of the key components of Cookhouse Lab is the idea of “The Expert Crowd”. It is a group of collaborators in the lab, interacting virtually with global experts, to ask questions on how to solve current (or future) challenges in the industry.

4. It is necessary in today’s fast paced world

Everything I have discussed are facts that we have to think about and consider as we; run our businesses, grow our companies, hire and train the next leaders, and create organizations. In the past it has been common to look back, see what worked, and apply that to the future.  But in today’s fast paced world, we are creating the future now. With the pace of technological change we need to stop looking behind us.  We need to really slow down, and think about what we want our future state to look like. And if that requires tackling the complex and taking the road less traveled – well as you might of guessed, I’m on board!

 

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Chris Murumets

Written by Chris Murumets


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