“Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning.” –Benjamin Franklin
I’ve been using Microsoft Word since before the days of Clippy. As annoying as the animated paper clip was, I utilized the feature quite a bit. When Clippy was shelved, it was like the aged workplace sage had retired and his accompanying wisdom was lost to the team. Fast forward a few zillion Word docs and I accidentally discovered that Word has a text-to-speech function. I was in multitasking heaven. The possibilities of listening to a document were already entering future multitasking ideas, but why didn’t I know about this already?
I blame my fondness for Clippy. Clippy was always there prodding me to look at this or try that out. Without Clippy, Word was a just another utilitarian word processor. I had forgotten to grow my Word skills because Clippy wasn’t there as an infuriating cheerleader. What else had I missed in software that was as permanent a fixture as an old easy chair?
Growth and change are words we equate to bright, shiny, and new. We forget that repurposing the old can be more innovative than replacement solutions. From asset management to team members, our first thought shouldn’t be “out with the old and in with the new.” Our first thought should be, “can what I already have be used for what I need?” When solutions are found within the assets we already hold, there are bound to be cost and time savings.
Lessons from Clippy: Accelerators
- Identify one major issue or problem you are facingright now in your business or workplace. Why is it aproblem or an issue?
- What simple actions could you take right now, orwhat skills or capabilities do you have at your disposal,that you could use to rectify or solve this issueor problem?
- Spend the “thinking time” required to do the aboveand when you’re done, identify three more problemsand follow the same process.
Dr. Jeff D. Standridge is the best-selling author of “The Innovator’s Field Guide” and “The Top Performer’s Field Guide.” He serves as Managing Director for the Conductor and Innovation Junkie, and teaches in the College of Business at the University of Central Arkansas. Jeff helps organizations and their leaders generate sustained results in the areas of innovation, strategy, profit growth, organizational effectiveness and leadership. Learn more at InnovationJunkie.com.