"OK, forget about money and logistics. Tell me what your ideal partnership between our two departments would be," my colleague, Ben, said to me a few weeks ago.
Forget about money?
I understood why he said that, but when you're used to adhering to a pretty strict budget, it's hard to not think about it. It's also hard to not think about all the other factors that may have held you back in the past.
When I'm tasked with planning an event or program, my mind automatically runs through a checklist. How much will it cost? Will the desired location be available? Can [insert department] assist with funds and staffing? I need to ensure all bases are covered before my creative process even begins.
More from The Muse:
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"Don't be afraid to suggest crazy ideas," Ben said, as I sat there thinking and tapping my pen against my notes. When I laughed, he told me that he "always starts with crazy ideas, because it helps lead other people to have more realistic but great [ones]."
He's right, and I need to start thinking more like he does. We all should.
Because the thing is, you never know what that "wild" thought will lead to. Sure, it might be declined right off the bat. Or, perhaps, your suggestion inspires an even better, and more brilliant idea, from your teammate. But maybe, just maybe, the decision-maker surprises you and approves your initial proposal.
I'm not saying these have to be completely bizarre or fantastical in nature. I'm just saying that, sometimes, we need to push convention aside and abandon the standard mold (at least temporarily) to find the best solutions and to take things to the next level.
My partner, for instance, works at a community market that also serves as a fast casual restaurant. Since opening almost a year ago, the classic hamburger has been on the menu. A few weeks ago, he suggested they start offering it only on Thursdays.