Business-to-business salesmen in the good old days used to arrive by train in a new community and climb up the highest hill in town. They would look out and identify where the smokestacks were. Each smokestack identified a manufacturing prospect for their product.
More recently, a Long Island community used Google Earth to identify home owners who hadn’t obtained building permits for their new swimming pools. The town of Riverhead found at least 250 residents who built pools without a permit, and most paid up, netting the town about $75,000 in fees.
In the 21st century we don’t have to get on a train. With Google Earth, a salesman of swimming pool supplies and services can look down on a neighborhood to locate prospects. An automotive parts manufacturer can use LinkedIn to identify engineers at a division of Ford or GM. The Immigration and Naturalization Service can review payroll records with the social security number verification service (SSNVS) to identify companies employing undocumented workers.
How can you mash up 21st century technology with the deep understanding of issues that only comes with age and experience?
Maintaining a diversified team is the best way to do this and support innovative thinking. A team that is diverse in profession, age, sex, ethnicity, and social status will bring different experiences, problem solving, and worldview. It’s more likely that someone who has lived with Facebook or Twitter in school is more likely to come up with an innovative use of social media. It’s more likely a creative response to an economic downturn will come from someone who has lived through multiple downturns.
To fully realize the benefits of your diverse team requires effective tools. One of the most useful tools is a productive meeting.
An End to Meeting Madness documents our decades of experience in facilitating high-stakes meetings. If you’re interested in having productive meetings that help set your strategy and keep your projects productive and on track, read the book, listen to my On-Demand webinar Run Leadership Meetings That Burst With Fresh Ideas, or give us a call.