It 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.