Wednesday, November 19, 2008

D-I-Y Medici Effect

Given the fallout from the financial mess around us, it's time to take action. I'm not really sure how the government's commitment to spend more money is going to help, I mean where is that money coming from? While waiting for Washington to resolve things, I'd prefer do what I can on the home territory.

This is a time when the need for creativity becomes noticeably more apparent, if not urgent.

A few years ago Frans Johansson wrote, The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas, Concepts and Cultures. As you might expect from the title, Johansson promotes the idea of cross-fertilization of ideas from different disciplines to create new ways of seeing and thinking.

So how does one create a Medici effect at home, the D-I-Y (do it yourself) way?

The answer is simple: over lunch.

You want to talk to people outside your field. Healthcare can talk to Advertising who can link with Education, and maybe Science and Art can contribute, too. Usually before any breakthrough happens, the Medici people have to feel comfortable with each other. That's why you have lunch often. It's not a meeting to exchange business cards; it's a meeting to have fun, challenge and tease each other, and innovate.

If you saw Seth Godin's presentation on Tribes I linked to about ten days ago, you may remember this tidbit: The person who had the idea to transform Target from a dusty K-mart wannabe into a top-design-for-less powerhouse was not a top executive, or creativity consultant. She was a mid-level employee who thought it would be cool to get a designer like Phillipe Starck to design stuff, meaning normal household tools like measuring cups and toothbrushes, their customer base could afford. Look at the change one person brought to the planet.

Create more. Communicate better. Connect abundantly.