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The Jazz in Big Ideas

How to find big ideas working collaboratively and looking at the problem from different perspectives.

What inspires you? When you get up in the morning what excites you? Are you checking off a list of stuff to get done? Not that list making is a bad thing. No question, good habits and organization help move the ball down the court. But what do you really love best about your job? Are you looking to find a ‘wow’ moment every day and where do you turn for inspiration and to keep your juices flowing daily? For me, the jazz is in looking at problems differently and the collaboration in the common search for the big idea. The excitement is all around a focus on “what can be” and then looking at the problem from different perspectives.

Leonardo da Vinci called it saper vedere (knowing how to see). He believed that problems should be looked at in different ways so we can see it from new angles.

What Albert Einstein said about science can be applied to idea development, “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.”

Because all of our first impressions are based on what we know or have experienced, if left in a silo, we almost always look at problems just like we have done in the past—and we absolutely need to see it from other perspectives. In an idea session where we are searching for high ground, different perspectives and problems collaboratively examined in different lights makes all the difference. That’s the jazz.

There is an energy that is palpable when the discussion is all around “what can be” that builds dynamically. There is the sense of potential and a conversation synergy that can only happen when people are trying to make something different happen. Often the best ideas are the ones that were right in front of you all along and emerge only because someone saw the problem a little differently.

We are lucky to have real estate clients and a couple of prospective clients who like this approach to idea collaboration as much as we do and encourage it. That makes the process even more enjoyable. One client has initiated an “idea” of the week challenge.

I don’t know where you find the jazz in your job every day but one place you might look is in collaboration with a team who are not afraid to turn the problem around differently when digging for the gold in big ideas.