As we try everyday to do our best work, land every deal, and make every meeting we are constantly running into speed bumps that stutter our momentum. Let’s take the simple example of sharing your business card. Meeting people is easy. You trade your little rectangles of information, and look forward to the rewards of a new connection. Yet, when you again settle down behind your desk and unpack your wallet or purse, those same contact rectangles come pouring out in a confusing heap of relevance and relationship. Where did I meet her again? Why did I think this business was important? This process of sorting our connections seems almost archaic in 2012, but we find ourselves doing this sort of thing all the time.
Most of us have accepted this type of hindrance as essential to getting business done, but are we settling for less? Are we accepting problems that have clear solutions? Are we that boring?
Companies like CardFlick are keeping things interesting. Using pictures from your Facebook page or Instagram feed, CardFlick enables you to create stylish digital business cards instantly. With a focus on the ease of sharing your style and your information, CardFlick takes an awkward exercise and creates a solution that’s aesthetically pleasing. According to their website, “We’re changing business cards because we know you’re about more than just your contact information. CardFlick lets you create beautiful cards and share them with ease. And hopefully that makes you a little bit happy.”
Not only is CardFlick creating an elegant solution to a common annoyance, but they’re approaching the conversation in an emotional and meaningful way. When we make connections with colleagues it’s easy to jam a card in your pocket or purse, focusing less on the human interaction and more on the connection as it relates to business. When our human interactions take a backseat, the business aspect of our relationships becomes less vibrant. We are more than our contact information. We have lives and personalities outside our email and office phone number. Companies like CardFlick remind us that what’s really at the heart of sharing our information is a human connection; an amazing place to discover one’s personality or personal brand, a place to discover a little happiness, and after all isn’t that why we’re here?
Often we over look the irritations around us and simply accept them as essential. This applies to products, but it also applies to business practices and procedures. Just as sharing contact information is a valuable and necessary aspect of doing business, the way in which we’re doing it has become cumbersome. Likewise, business practices that we assume to be a necessary nuisance may deserve reinvention. What’s gained by this reexamination? In a word: everything. What if you could gain an extra hour every week by eliminating an awkward procedure to file paper-work or set up a team meeting? That’s an hour to think creatively about a problem, to read an inspiring article, watch a helpful lecture, connect with a coworker, send a thank you letter, or simply take a breath and reflect. By taking advantage of elegant solutions created by others, we have a chance to create them ourselves.
What are those simple solutions that will allow innovative thinking more time to blossom? What procedures or technologies are we ignoring that can help us be more creative? How would you get inspired with an extra hour every week?
*Each Monday, Prophet’s Chief Curator and Provocateur, Andy Stefanovich, or a member of our innovation team shares an on-ramp to Monday with Prophet employees across the globe. We’d like to share the inspiration and expand the footprint of these weekly jump starts by sharing them here. This week’s post was written by Joshua Epperson in our Richmond office. Happy Monday!