The staff sitting in Taskmaster Towers spend eight or more hours each workday selling widgets, advertising widgets, designing widgets, providing customer service to widget customers, tweeting about widgets, organising the payroll for widget work or filling spreadsheets with widget inventories.
Many are friends outside work and more have friends elsewhere in the widget industry. In between discussing their own jobs, instead of doing more productive work, there’s the constant chatter about the comings and goings of the industry. Some form relationships at work, leading to discussions about the challenges of balancing work with raising their little midget widgets.
The more committed read specialist websites, message boards and blogs about widgets or scan the business pages each morning for stories about the widget industry.
Then there are the industry conferences and events, where widget workers witness words from the world’s widget wizards about their world-class widgetry work.
Taskmaster Towers is a great environment to learn more than you could ever possibly want to know about widgets, except for one very crucial thing: What the rest of the world knows or thinks about them. That vast majority of the world’s population who only think about widgets once or twice a year – usually in a crisis moment when a widget unexpectedly breaks.
When you’re in “the bubble” of an industry, it can be surprisingly easy to lose sight of the fact that the majority of the human race don’t spend a large part of their waking lives thinking about your industry. Often, it’s the common sense of those outside the bubble, rather than the people trapped within it, that inspires big industry-shaking company-defining innovations.
So make sure you take the time to look outside your office for innovation. Make sure you tell your employees do likewise.
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