I’m a big advocate for trying new things. Most of the time.

One time I tried kale chips.

If you haven’t tried them yet, I’ll save you cash. Just rip out a sheet of paper from a notebook, tear it into smaller pieces, sprinkle salt on them and eat them.

Then use that money you saved to go grab yourself something worth it… like a twinkie.

But other than kale chips (and liver… give me a second, gulp), most times there can be a big payoff to trying something new.

In the business world, one of the barriers to trying new things is that people are waiting for an invitation to do it.

They may want to try something new… a new technology, a new process, a new tool, but unless they’re empowered to just try it, they will often let it just sit right inside their cranium as it slowly gnaws away at them and then dies.

Whether for good or bad, I’ve usually been someone who will just try something new or do something differently regardless of if I’ve been given that invitation.

Sometimes, I will ask if we’ve ever used or tried this tech or app before, but other times I will just give it a shot. Especially if I’ve used it outside of work and know the power it could bring to our current situation.

The other day I did just that.

We were in a meeting… an in-person meeting if you remember those. Several of us were all in one room discussing some different options for a project.

The nature of the discussion and meeting had us each sort of mocking up our own ideas on paper to share with the group.

The problem was how to effectively gather around and look at everyone’s version, make changes and have meaningful discussion without being too close and also being able to see each idea clearly.

As we were starting to get to the stage where this was going to happen, my brain was up ahead seeing the issue we were going to run into and that it was going to be difficult to do it that way.

So, on the fly, I pulled up the meeting room computer, turned on the projector, logged into my Outlook and then started taking pictures of each of the ideas and emailing to myself with my phone.

OK, side note here. I know it’s 2021 and maybe I shouldn’t be blown away with the speed of technology like this, but can I just say that it still blows me away that I can hit send on my phone and see that email instantly show up on the screen on the wall. Like, seriously, how does it go all over wherever it needs to go to get from phone to work to network to computer to projector… THAT FAST?

I often don’t feel like I can get thoughts from my brain to my mouth that fast. Just crazy.

OK, so back to the meeting…

As the email showed up on the screen, I began to pull up the pictures one by one and it made it so much easier to discuss as a group, blow them up bigger and even make quick modifications and repeat the whole process.

It also helped us come to some really good agreement on some key decisions and plans we were making. And I’m just not sure it would have worked out that way originally.

I think the same thing happens every day in your organization as well. Your people are faced with multiple situations throughout their day where they might have a better way to do it, a new tool or app or technique that maybe isn’t currently used in your company.

You can do so much to help your team thrive by being an encourager and someone who empowers them to think outside the box.

If their idea has anything to do with kale chips, then I’ll leave that direction up to you.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode. Connect with me on Instagram @shawnwashburn7