I recently had the pleasure once again of hearing Toni Newman speak about innovation and being different. If you haven't attended an event featuring Toni, you won't hear the energy and conviction behind her message, but an important message it is. Below is my attempt to share it with you – quotes are from Toni.
Each of us has a default set of expectations around just about everything we do, even things we haven’t done. My default will be different than yours, but we both have one. Toni’s example was about tipping in a restaurant and a delightful experience with a waiter named Stefan. My default might be to give a 15% tip before taxes; yours might be different. For me to tip more or less, the experience has to break my expectations, either better or worse.
“The unexpected moves people beyond their default mindset.”
Toni says that in order to be better, we also have to be different, because being different is what breaks those default mindsets. And ‘different’ doesn't look like anyone else, while ‘better’ can.
“Innovation = a value based change that resets expectations.”
We don't have to be different at everything – that’s hard work and even harder to maintain. But we can strive to own a moment.
This, of course, led me to wonder what moment I own. Among the people that know about me, I think one moment is when they open a crappy newsletter and think, “Linda would be aghast at this.” Or they forward it to me saying, “This company needs your help.” Should I try to craft a different moment to own? Toni certainly has me thinking hard about it.
originally published in Work Better, Not Harder March 31, 2015