Posts Tagged ‘Columbus Day’

Next week we celebrate Columbus Day, one of our greatest explorers. But exploration occurs in almost every facet of human existence. In business and, in our lives in general, we explore either to find new ways of doing things or out of curiosity as to what is out there. Exploration is good for business because it feeds it with new or different possibilities. It is always this new infusion of ideas, commonly called innovation, which helps a business to grow and prosper.

What is exploration?

Exploration occurs in 4 areas: physical, information, ideas, and artistic. Christopher Columbus was a physical explorer. He traveled out into that part of our world that at the time was a dark mystery. Other examples of physical exploration are archeologists exploring buried sites of ancient civilizations and our space programs or scientists researching the human genome. They all have the goal to learn more about the physical universe we inhabit. One can also explore information such as anytime you have a question that needs answering and you go to an encyclopedia or Wickipedia, or do a Google search. Inventors explore in the realm of ideas. They ponder the what if or the whys or the how can it be done differently questions, then seek out the solutions by manipulating the physical arriving at solutions leading to a new product or business innovation.  Artists in any medium are explorers as they think about and execute new ways of using their medium to express their feelings, points of view, etc.

Exploration takes a certain mindset

Children are the greatest explorers. Why? Because they don’t have the baggage (conditioning) we adults do when it comes to being curious, open to risk, or embracing the new. In fact they delight in doing so! Exploration of any form requires the leaving of one’s comfort zone and exercising those traits. However, as adults, unbridled exploration with no end goal in mind is only diversionary, like a hobby. To make the time spent exploring turn into something useful, one has to tap in to one’s creativity – take those discoveries and apply them to current situations or into the development of something entirely new. Great inventions and innovations are the end results of time spent exploring and applying that knowledge to real world problems.

Exploration leads to creating great communications

Exploration not only helps a business create new products or offer new and unique services but will also help you generate communications that connect. If you are willing to talk to your customers and ask questions (exploring their needs) you can tailor your message better to their demographic. Another example would be to risk the time and money to invest in a new way for your business to communicate it messages. Just think of the first person who used a website to market a business. They explored what was out there, dug into the technology of creating websites, than took the risk to launch their own site. Now almost every business has an internet presence! The phrase “Thinking out of the box” is really all about exploration…the exploration of ideas and possibilities!

So get out there and imitate Christopher Columbus. Exercise your curiosity, take that risk, explore things outside of your everyday world or industry. By expanding your horizons you never know where the next great idea, helpful tip, or business assistance will come from!

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