If you’re a Microsoft partner, the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference will be the place to be next week. There’s usually big announcements, big speakers (Sir Richard Branson), great technology showcases, tons of informative breakout sessions and loads of passionate technorati.
When I attend a conference like this I challenge myself to come up with at least one big disruptive idea. Not just a good idea (I can have lots of these), a disruptive one. Something that will challenge and rattle the beliefs of myself, my team, my company or my industry to the core. An idea that’s so far outside the box that box no longer exists.
What the heck am I talking about? Think about your industry, the products and services you provide, the team that you’re on and the job that you do. What if you came up with an idea that would revolutionize everything you did? While at the conference listen for ideas, watch what others are doing (or not doing), pay attention to trends, look for opportunities. A good idea will change things, a disruptive one will transform it.
Here are just a few ways to think disruptively:
- Connect unrelated ideas. Creativity is not necessarily coming up with something out of the blue but frequently connecting two or more unrelated ideas in a way that you hadn’t done before. Maybe you see a cool app for a phone and then think of ways your company can transform your distribution channel using mobile devices.
- Extending the thought. If a speaker were laying out a roadmap of ideas what would happen if you were to go beyond what they presented? How can you make it your own for your company?
- Flipping an idea. I like brainstorm scenarios I’m trying to brainstorm for that are so terrible that it allows me to get to the core of the issue and then flip it. If a presenter was talking about an awful case study and warning people what not to do – I’d push the scenario to the extreme badness to find out why it mattered and then flip it and brainstorm positive solutions.
While attending a WPC you’ll have lots of opportunity to play with new ideas. As technology advances there will be opportunities for new products and services and distribution to support it. Find those opportunities and when you do push them to their extreme so that your good ideas become transformative ones.