Innovation: How to Dream Big

Innovation: How to Dream Big

Unleash the Power of Creativity!
Creativity and innovation.  Two words we seem to be hearing more and more of these days.  Many books have been written on the subject and it seems every conference is talking about how to be different.

In almost every field, the race is on to become more adaptive and to create the next new thing.  Regardless of the strategy used to innovate, the underlying principle is the same, step out of the ubiquitous “box” and start dreaming!


We are challenged by authors and speakers to start thinking about the absurd, the impossible, and the unexpected path.  They tell us to let the ideas flow freely and to not ignore but build upon a person’s crazy ideas.  Take a risk and imagine a better world, they dare us.  What would it look like?  What would it feel like?  What would you be doing differently?

As senior living providers we often attend, understandably, senior living related conferences.  We spend most of our time with senior living counterparts, and gain a lot of our ideas from our senior living competitors down the street.  We proudly conclude, after we’ve implemented something new, that we did it better, and in a slightly different way.

But most likely there’s nothing new, nothing innovative about what you’ve done. Believe me, I know. I have lived this truth too many times!

Imagine instead if you spent this year attending only conferences that have NOTHING to do with senior living? Are you reading industry journals from other fields?  What if you researched what unlike organizations in your communities were focused on, and how they were going about solving their issues?


Can you image what you’d learn from school districts, faith-organizations, restaurants, hotels, law firms, governmental agencies, and philanthropic organizations to name just a few?

In addition to going out and gathering information, you can go a step further and create a dream factory in your organization.  Invite non-traditional stakeholders to partake in your creative efforts.

As a field, let’s pledge to do more dreaming!  Let’s commit to harnessing the collective daydreams of those around us.

No one has a glass ball to predict the future, however, research and history teaches us that the biggest winners are the biggest dreamers.

My prediction: those organizations that take on the challenge will need to change their existing vision statements.  The dreams will burst the “box”!

This article was written staff member, Veronica Barber. 


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