I was recently participating in a FlipGrid book study on “The Innovator’s Mindset” and was asked this question by one of the participants:
In writing a book on innovation, did you ever struggle with the idea that you were using a very “traditional” format?
I loved the question, and here a couple of thoughts.
1. “Traditional” does not equal bad. If one learner benefits from reading on an iPad and the other benefits from reading from pages on a book, both are reading. Whatever the learner needs to be successful is where we should begin.
2. The second thing I thought about was that I was already using digital spaces such as blogs and Twitter at the time when I wrote the book. I was reaching many people who were ready to take the leap with some of the ideas I shared or were already excelling at them. I also wanted to reach people that weren’t in those online spaces and perhaps, through the text, encourage them to explore for themselves. Some of the most refreshing tweets I have ever been mentioned in are ones where someone says something similar to, “I just read The Innovator’s Mindset and decided to jump in and try Twitter! Thanks, @gcouros!” I reached someone in a space where they were learning, and that was what mattered.
I discuss this in “Innovate Inside the Box“:
“The only way to help move people forward is through building relationships and understanding where their journey begins, not focusing solely on where you want them to be.”
The participant’s question was a great reminder that if we want to reach people and help push their thinking, we have to go to the spaces where they are most comfortable to start. It is not about them jumping to you, but you going to them.