Tinker Hatfield is a world renowned basketball shoe designer and the Air Jordan XI is arguably the most popular Nike basketball shoe of all time. Earlier this year Netflix released Abstract: The Art of Design, a documentary on popular designers. One show is devoted to Tinker Hatfield, recognized by Fortune as one of the 100 most influential designers of the 20th century. It’s a fascinating show. There is one aspect to Tinker’s success that stands out and it’s something that you can easily emulate.
Tinker gets away from his design desk and engages with the world. He says, “Just get out there and experience life, it gives you the library in your head for new design work.”
Experiencing life gives you the library in your head for new HVAC, Plumbing and or Electrical work.
In an earlier Comanche Marketing article this year titled Let’s Barn Raise Some Ideas, we explored a technique for getting new ideas. While getting out and exploring the world falls under the step, “Gather raw material,” we’re going to look at it today from a different perspective. The window is neuroscience and the view is us getting out of a rut.
Neural Pathways - A neural pathway is a series of neurons connected together through synapses. Synapses act like traffic cops directing impulses from one region of the brain to another. This process of forming new neural pathways is known as neuroplasticity - how our brain cells reorganize in response to new experiences in our life.
The neural pathway deepens with similar and repetitive experiences. For instance, checking your social media accounts when you first get out of bed, jaywalking and annual employee reviews become so repetitive that you don’t even think about what you’re doing. You see how deepening a neural pathway equates to a rut, right?
An example of a positive deepened neural pathway is the musculoskeletal and mental orchestration of a basketball free throw. It’s not really muscle memory, it’s neural pathways, synapses and a multitude of other brain components working in harmonious orchestration.
Every time Tinker takes in an experience to build his library, it increases neural pathways and synapses in his brain. While repetition to build a positive outcome is great, the synapses also assist in memory. When two neural pathways are working on the same information (active at the same time), the connection strengthens.
So let’s pretend that Tinker is working on his surfboard when all of a sudden a notion related to the curvature of the board triggers a fifteen-year old memory of when he was working on a particular shoe. This is possible because at some point his neural pathways were aggressively firing over the shoe’s design all those years ago -- think "more books" added to his library.
We are generally not aware of these processes at work. There are many things that we can do to aid our brain in the creation of neural pathways and brain synapses. Here are two. One is “intend to”, the other is to "be open."
Intend To - The opposite of intend to is indifference and/or autopilot. We go through life oblivious to all of the learning opportunities around us. Instead, we should intend to observe and intend to learn.
Be Open - Intend to be open to life experiences. From your son’s kindergarten class to the commencement speech at your daughter’s graduation, to the reaction of your coworker when she exceeds her KPI’s, be open.
Strive to build new neural pathways and synapses. Keep your mind fresh. And build your own personal library and better your business.
Speaking of building your own personal library, mark the date for an expansive learning experience! Service World Expo is the bold, must-attend conference, trade show, and networking event for residential contractors involved in Plumbing, HVAC or Electrical service who want to ignite growth and performance in their companies. Being held on Sept 7th-8th, 2017, at the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, NV, the event will encompass compelling content, cutting edge educational breakouts, a product showcase that is more tailgate party than tradeshow and out of this world entertainment events. For more information on Service World Expo, visit www.ServiceWorldExpo.com, email [email protected], or call 844.742.3970.