Courageous Minds Only (CMO) began as a source of courage, inspiration, and ideas for corporate leaders to build the future in an uncertain world. Over the years, as leaders have had opportunities through virtual and regional conversations to connect around shared challenges and lessons learned, CMO has evolved into a well-connected community and mindset. We’re excited to continue the conversation here on our blog by sharing our second of three hacks to operating with a Courageous Minds Only attitude. Hack #1, described in a previous blog post, is falling in love with the problem. Hack #2 is reimagining the business you’re in.
The teams we work with don’t typically struggle with ideation or developing solutions that fit within their business models. Many times, though, their challenges stem from the absence of a clearly defined problem. If we operate with a Courageous Minds Only attitude, we’re able to first define and fall in love with the problem, and then reimagine our business. This mindset shift breaks the habit of leveraging traditional ways to create solutions, and instead, enables us to look at problems through many different lenses, including external inspiration to drive divergent exploration of solutions.
Since founding the Courageous Minds Only Community a few years ago, we’ve impacted 1,000+ leaders through candid conversations. And, it’s one of the places our team loves exploring to ignite curiosity for what’s next. The leaders who join these conversations are curious to learn from others’ stories and insights, and seek new opportunities to reimagine their businesses. They’re committed to pushing their organizations forward, rather than clinging to traditional business models. During our Courageous Minds Only Chat with Beth Comstock, former Vice Chair at General Electric and author of Imagine It Forward, she doubled down on the importance of taking time for discovery.
“I realized I had to bring the outside in — experts, organized field trips, continued discovery, and translation — to push the business forward. Sometimes you have to force leaders to discover, like helping them see how taking 10% of wasted time can be used to go discover.” – Beth Comstock
Other leaders we’ve hosted have shared trends and new possibilities that they’ve taken advantage of in their businesses, such as:
In addition to being curious, another way to reimagine the business we’re in is by collecting and connecting dots to yield the creation of new ideas. At The Garage Group, we execute on this through trends and analogs. We explore similar problems and solutions within categories and in adjacent and analogous spaces.
For example, LensCrafters wanted to develop an omni-channel solution because they realized consumers were starting to shop their category digitally and they had a primarily brick-and-mortar presence. Before exploring paths forward, they defined their problem as, “We don’t just want to create a digital solution that’s disparate from the brick-and-mortar; we want to create an omni-channel solution that takes into consideration the needs of consumers along the engagement experience, both in-store and online.”
They went about solving this problem by identifying other brands that had solved it in a best-in-class way. In the category, they learned from Warby Parker. In an adjacent space, they studied Sephora’s consumer experience — both in store and online — and used it as a north star to guide the team’s learnings. They also analyzed how Netflix, although a complete analog, delivers a consistent experience across channels and devices. By thinking differently about all of the steps along the consumer journey, LensCrafters was able to reframe their set of solutions and think more expansively to bring their offerings to life via a digital experience.
At the end of our Courageous Minds Only Chats, we always pose the same question to the leaders in the room, “Which insight or piece of advice from today’s conversation will you implement into your life or team tomorrow to enable your organization to move faster and smarter?” In a similar way, we encourage you to think about — and even write down — how you’ll start or continue operating with a Courageous Minds Only attitude after learning about our two hacks.
Watch this space for our third and final hack, and revisit hack #1 (fall in love with the problem). In the meantime, get in touch with Jason Hauer, TGG Co-Founder & Chief Growth Officer, if you have questions or want to learn more about our CMO Community. He leads a lot of our Chats and is deeply passionate about helping others find the courage, inspiration, and ideas needed to impact their organizations and our world in bold, unique ways.