Anyway, I’m not a big reader, never really have been, but my son changed that recently when he dropped a book on my desk and said ‘read chapter one’…I felt like a schoolboy again and even asked if he wanted me to take notes!! The book was called ‘The 1-Page Marketing Plan’ by Allan Dib. It’s over 200 pages and I read it cover to cover in a matter of hours….taking copious notes along the way. Maybe that’s the secret, tell someone to read a chapter and they’ll read the book!
The point is, it opened my mind to reading again and taking on board new ideas and gaining positive confirmation that I was already doing a number of things correctly and more than enough badly! The pace of change in our lives is so fast that innovation and creativity are essential for staying ahead of the competition.
Business leaders that can foster a culture of innovation and creativity within their organisations are giving themselves a much better chance of long-term success. So other than sticking our head into Google for four hours a day, how else can we expose ourselves to new ideas and perspectives, to new possibilities and new ways of thinking?
Covid clearly marked a break in some of the traditional reservoirs of stimulation and information gathering such as attending conferences and visiting client offices, but don’t undervalue the impact of those ‘water cooler’ moments and office banter. No, not the gossip about last night’s Coronation Street shenanigans, more the insight into other people’s learnings through books, articles, conversations with others, snippets from last night’s news. A lot of those ‘reservoirs’ of information ran dry during Covid and will probably never reach the same levels ever again….many industry conferences faded away, the majority of us aren’t visiting anything like the number of client offices that we used to and, as far as I can glean from the organisations we deal with, office numbers aren’t anywhere near where they used to be and the ‘office information exchange’ will be less productive as a result.
When we’re exposed to new and different ways of thinking, it can spark our imaginations and inspire us to come up with new and innovative ideas which can lead to breakthroughs in product development, marketing, and other key areas of business. So where do the new ideas come from and the fresh perspectives which can help us to break out of our day-to-day operations where it can be so easy to get tunnel vision and miss out on opportunities for growth and innovation?
At B4 we’re providing these opportunities for connection, development, ‘thought sharing’ and building fantastic relationships which can help guide and support business leaders throughout their careers. We’re firm believers at B4 that bringing leaders together in fantastic social environments is a great way for them to build relationships, establish trust and start sharing ideas. We go beyond that by offering our members opportunities to discuss key areas of business such as finance, business development and HR plus increasingly important areas such as wellbeing and better business.
“Nobody knows everything. But together we know a whole lot.”Simon Sinek
We’re also actively looking to help young entrepreneurs who need support as they take their relatively early steps in the world of business and, in the absence of the sorts of support that many of us had when starting out in business, we’re providing them with access to the more established and experienced business leaders in the community. This is very much a two-way process as an experienced business leader can always benefit from the insight into trends and innovative techniques that young entrepreneurs can bring. A great example was our recent B4 Supper Club where Milissa Davis of Tu Tu Delicious Chocolates and Jacob Wilson of The Henley Distillery Company were introduced to the likes of Blenheim Palace, Beard Construction and Enistic, invaluable connections for all parties.
So if you would like to find out more about topping up your idea, innovation and creative reservoirs and start connecting with our growing group of business leaders, from Blenheim Palace, Unipart, Oxford Brookes, Reech, Telford International Centre, Weston Park, Nuffield Health, Mills & Reeve, Owen Mumford and over two hundred business leaders from Oxfordshire and Shropshire, please do get in touch.
You might start out just reading a chapter and, before you know it, you’ve read the whole book!