Where does true innovation come from? Years ago I stumbled upon a company that described it very well. The company is Ecovative Design.
It was started up by two college students Gavin McIntyre and Eben Bayer. They came across their product while experimenting for a class project to make a natural glue. They decide to use mushroom roots (mycelium) and discovered that they could make solid parts with it includings such as “packaging peanuts” and car parts. Making these products from natural substances is incredible but what is even more amazing is the fact that the mycelium is fire-proof, waterproof, and will decompose if buried. Talk about a breakthrough!
Car parts from fungus? Who would have guessed?
“Innovation really lies at the intersection of disciplines” – McIntyre. Take the FMS (Functional Movement Screen for example. It was developed by Gray Cook and Lee Burton. It crossed over from the physical therapy side to the strength coach and personal training arena. At first this was violently opposed by physical therapists who believed it would threaten their business and was outside the scope of trainers. As time went by what was once thought of as off limits for trainers and coaches is now an extremely useful tool.
The question we need to be asking ourselves is what can we learn from other fields? What field can we explore and learn from? This is where the breakthrough lies. Sure we need to keep up with information in our field but we need to take time scouting out others as well. We also need to not fall victim to the “this won’t work for our field” disease.
“An moron can come up with a lot of reasons to invalidate an idea. So don’t give yourself any points for being able to sit there and figure out why ‘X’ doesn’t apply to you…The only real value and the only real genius is in figuring out how to apply an idea, not how to invalidate an idea” – Dan Kennedy
An example of a field we need to read up on more is psychology. What does psychology/ sports psychology have that can get more potential out of our clients? Or what does psychology say can allow us to reach more people in our marketing? What strategies do other fields use to market their services that we have not tried? There is endless potential for innovation if we can make the right connections.
“The defining factor (for success) is never resources; it’s resourcefulness.” – Tony Robbins