If you’re struggling to awaken the innovative spirit among the members of your team, you’re not alone. Sure, everyone in the meetings industry wants to embrace what’s new and what’s next, but there are plenty of hurdles that stand in the way. From bureaucratic processes to budget concerns, innovation isn’t always easy. In fact, these statistics show that creativity is lacking from a big section of the convention landscape.
Josh Linkner, New York Times bestselling author and founder of Detroit Venture Partners, has studied hundreds of organizations and entrepreneurs to understand what factors fuel success. In the opening session at the DMAI Annual Convention in Austin, Linkner shared some powerful recommendations on how to help organizations harness the most crucial ingredient: the power of creativity. Take a look at these three quotes from Linkner, and pass them on to your entire team to awaken their innovative energy.
1) “Instead of throwing money at a problem, try throwing your imagination at it.”
Let’s face it: money cannot solve everything. Rather than focusing on what kind of dollars you can put behind a new initiative, Linkner reminded the DMAI audience to dream a bit bigger. Oddly enough, in some cases, it’s good to let those dreams turn into a nightmare. When he founded promotion agency ePrize, Linkner tasked the company to imagine who or what could put them out of business. They repeated this exercise every six months. Why? If they imagined the scenarios that could push them out of the market, they could always stay one step ahead of the competition.
2) “Fear is the poisonous ingredient that robs us of our creative thinking.”
There are so many reasons to be afraid in the meetings industry. What if the new sponsorship packages don’t resonate with some of the biggest past contributing companies? What if attendees aren’t pleased with the message from the opening session speaker? What if exhibitors are unhappy with a change in show floor hours?
If you spend all your time dwelling on the potential consequences of those what-ifs, you’ll never be able to unleash new solutions. Forget about being afraid. Start being ambitious.
3) “No matter what the title is on your business card, add the word ‘disruptor’ to it.”
Coordinator, Manager, Director, Vice President, CEO — all these titles indicate an employee’s role and responsibilities. However, those titles alone aren’t enough. Linkner reminded destination marketing professionals of the importance of being disruptive. They shouldn’t just embrace change in the industry; they should be the ones who are actually inspiring the change.
“Don’t think about what was or what is,” Linkner said. “Think about what could be.”
Looking for more pieces of wisdom to help shape your life? Check out these unforgettable quotes from the 2015 PCMA Education Conference.