The way you view something gives it meaning. It doesn’t really matter what an author’s or artist’s intent is – you the viewer, the reader, give the work meaning. (No one sees the world as it is, we merely see it as we see it.)
So, if you’re still with me on this, what if you used this notion to intentionally find new meaning in things that could help you grow your business. What if you could unearth a treasure chest of creativity by simply looking at things differently. Fact is, most of the world’s greatest inventions came about when someone took a proven winner and gave it a new use or a new meaning.
It’s an interesting concept, for sure, but how do you get your arms around this and put it to work in your business?
I read a ton, I always have, four or five books a week. About five years ago I unconsciously started doing what I’m going to call “Point of View Reading.” POV Reading is simply a technique that allows me to pick up any book, almost regardless of the topic, and read it with a single point of view or filter. In other words, if I want to create new ideas around the topic of say, customer service, I will read a book that is about how the brain works and in this frame of customer service almost always find new concepts and ideas that I can creatively apply in my own thinking and writing on the subject, even though the book wasn’t about this subject at all. Borrowing concepts, language, metaphors and even dialogue from one subject and finding ways to make it work in another can be a tremendous source of creative inspiration.
If you ever find yourself stuck on a topic, try this out. Sometimes the more off topic the book seems the better. Once you get used to it you can even start to find answers in tables of contents. Then you can start to go back and reread books you’ve enjoyed with a new point of view and find hidden treasures.
Here’s are two books I would recommend. Don’t worry about the marketing topic you want to use as filter, just try it.
- Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
- The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin