Insights are the product of two or more pieces of information combined in a unique way, they are the bridge connecting experience to expertise.
Insights are the key ingredient for every successful entrepreneur because it leads to new ways of doing things like:
- Spotting social and economic trends early on
- Re-engineering components of an old business model
- Taking a business model from one industry and applying it to another
- Getting the right people in the right roles
- Questioning the status quo (With more context comes deeper core understanding)
Taking the understanding one has for a certain area and applying it to another totally different area is the number one driver of innovation. The insights of inventors and businessmen have ushered us into new landscapes throughout history that people (at the time) never thought possible!
Think Henry Ford and his revolutionary assembly line techniques. Think Johaness Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press that combined elements of oil-based ink and agricultural screw presses. Think Apple’s iTunes that put everyone’s entire music library into an easy to use devise, the iPod. (not quite the impact of the printing press but you get the point)
The next great innovation and hugely successful businesses are merely an insight away. And the beauty of it is that everyone has insight whether they know it or not.
To leverage what you know the first step is to be aware. It seems obvious but most people are not even cognitively aware of their experiences and the significance they can have if applied appropriately. The second step is to start exploring other ideas, industries, practices and people. Start looking outside of yourself. Meeting new people is the easiest way to instantly gain insight on your own insight! With each new contact you meet you begin to see the uniqueness of your personal experience and knowledge. This then leads way to creating an entirely brand new context for your experiences. The third step is to create an environment of learning. Whether for a business or personal it is important to garner feedback and create a system to measure learning capacity.
Remember you can develop and even strengthen your ability to gain insight. Your experience no matter how small or insignificant you think it is can be leveraged to your advantage! Get outside the box and start making connections with the unfamiliar. Billion dollar empires have been built on uncomplicated insights. Just take what you know and apply it elsewhere!
What are you doing to gain more insight?