Disconnect the dots

constellationIt was one of those coloring book games we played in the car on long road trips to grandma’s house. “Use your crayon to connect the dots and complete the constellations” the instructions said. But just when I was about to begin, I saw something different in that complex swarm of dots and tiny numbers.

Instead of starting at 1 and following the intended sequence, I went my own way. I still connected all the dots, but I drew a super cool Chinese dragon face with horns and a forked tongue. And then I added shading and detail beyond the simple line drawing I was supposed to complete. And I liked it.

How many times are you presented with a pattern or template in your job that seems stale, predictable or boring? And how often do you take the initiative to improve on it?

Following a predictable process is necessary for stability and consistency in business, but connecting disparate dots from unrelated content is the soul of innovation. And sometimes the only way to make room for that new thinking is to have the guts to disconnect someone else’s dot pattern first.

Sharpen your Crayola and go for it.

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5 Comments on “Disconnect the dots”

  1. The Mage Says:

    Well I think that you should post you out of the lines creation, chortle, chortle 🙂

  2. undebateable Says:

    Sometimes, we have the dots connected for us. My sister and I were talking a little while ago how we were slotted into specific skills when we were young. I was the mathematician. She was the writer. The ‘young’ her was quite surprised – and upset – when I started blogging – because that was her that was supposed to write. The ‘adult’ her realized where it was coming from and celebrated my new-found interest and skills.

  3. Larry Says:

    For the past few months, I have been working at a company that has essentially been doing things the same way for 20yrs. The COO hired me to disconnect the dots and draw a new picture. Likely the biggest challenge I have ever faced in my professional career.

    • davidgoad Says:

      Let me know how it works out Larry! Im facinated by organizational dynamics like this.


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