Do me a favor, okay? Please click and read “Could Your Company Become an Award Winning Company?” a Matt Michel article.
Matt talks about your company entering contests, why you won’t enter contests and finally what to do if you do win a contest. I find it interesting that Matt spends the most time writing about why you will not or why you hesitate to enter contests. The fact that your head was nodding in acknowledgement while you read that section is exactly why our salsa-making-CEO devoted so much time to it.
Your eyebrows just burrowed down upon your eyes. “Salsa?” they ask.
Two things here. One, I’d like for you to listen and apply Matt’s excellent, practical advice. So you have to read that article. Go back and get the 411 on salsa. In the section devoted to why a contractor hesitates to enter a contest, Matt grabs hold of our attention with humor and captivating storytelling. So you’ll feel better after you read this short piece. Two, I’d like a shot at stretching your imagination.
Prepare to be stretched
Matt tells us that his article was written in response to a challenge by Contracting Business Editor Kate Kelly, to write about winning the salsa competition in the Texas State Fair. It’s my perception that Matt has a fair degree of humility so this wasn’t an easy task. The other obvious obstacle was, at first glance, salsa has nothing whatsoever to do with HVAC or Plumbing.
Getting past that first glance
Kate’s challenge caused Matt to look for ways to relate the contest to business.
What associations and comparisons might you make with people, places or things outside of your business?
Perhaps it’s how a grocery store responds to the ebb and flow of checkout traffic. Maybe it’s how a preschool teacher keeps her students engaged? Or maybe it’s a visit to your auto dealer’s service department. Remember the degree of difficulty involved in Kate’s challenge. Don’t be too quick to dismiss an idea.
Consider these relational ideas from the past
- Henry Ford’s idea for manufacturing processes came from the handling of animal carcasses in Chicago’s meatpacking plants.
- George de Mestral was hunting when he realized that the tiny hooks of cockle-burs were stuck on his pants. He wondered how. That curiosity turned into Velcro.
- While trying to develop a strong adhesive, Spencer Silver created a low-tack, reusable adhesive. Five years later, Art Fry, a colleague, thought Spencer’s adhesive would make an excellent bookmark for his hymnbook. Post-it notes originated from Art’s idea. By the way, the 3M team working on Post-it notes started using yellow paper because that was the only color scrap paper available.
Recruit a challenger - If you struggle with generating ideas recruit someone like Kate to firestart your creative chops.
A challenge for you - Take a few favorite songs from your youth, relate them to your company culture and then talk about them at your next company meeting.