"Corporate America hates the word fun because they think it doesn't imply business results. You can't change your culture by talking about it. You have to give people a toolkit they choose to use when you're not around. So, make it fun. And then you can change your culture." – Duncan Wardle (10:58 – 11:08)
In this episode of the Sync Or Swim podcast, we discussed grit, persistence, trial and error, and willingness to fail — in other words, we talked about fun!
What we talked about:
- How Duncan went from tending bar to Disney exec
- What creativity and innovation mean
- Where the barriers to creativity lie
- How to apply the principles of creativity to multifamily (and other industries)
Highlights from this episode:
How COVID is Impacting Every Industry
(3:09 – 3:44) Just look at the last 90 days. You used to go to the shops, now you use insta cart for your supermarket shopping, you use Amazon for everything else. You used to go to restaurants, now you use Uber Eats. You used to go to the gym, now you go to virtual gym. Will we go back in the numbers that we used to after there is a vaccine. No, we will not. Will you shake hands with another human being again as long as you live? No you will not. Another provocative statement, not really, it's common sense. Shaking hands is a habit, and you won't do it until a least a year after the vaccine is in. And by that time the habit will be broken. Now multiple that, that one simple gesture of the human race, by all the changes that are coming into industry.
(4:13 – 4:36) Nobody is going to send their teams across the country to a 2-hour meeting anymore because they suddenly realize, apart from carbon emissions, you've got the costs, I lose Duncan for 3 days, but if I put him in a Zoom, he can do it in 2 hours, so what does that mean from corporate real estate? That's gone. The acceleration it's terrifying and exciting at the same time.
(31:44 – 32:54) I actually think COVID-19 made that a reality. I don't think the mega-cities will continue in the direction they were, I do think the sprawl out into other areas will grow much faster than me anticipated before.
Tips to Creativity and Innovation
(8:57 – 9:17) What were the 5 barriers to being innovative and creative at work:
- I don't have time to think.
- We'll risk our culture.
- Consumer insight is being underused, we're a product-centric culture.
- Ideas got stuck diluted or killed due to our processes.
- We all have a different definition of innovation.
(12:10 – 12:15) Creativity is the ability to have an idea and everybody can. Innovation is the ability to get it done.
(15:15 – 15:29) You'd be amazed at the insights to innovation you can find by spending a day inside your consumers living room because sometimes it will reveal something in your data but guess what? it's on page 37, bullet point 14 and you're already worried about what's for dinner tonight, and guess what? You can't feel bullet points.
(20:03) The most employable skill sets in the next decade are the ones you were born with.
(25:51 – 26:11) Step 1) List the rules of your industry without thinking about them, as many as you can as quickly as you can. Step 2) Pick one of those rules, and in less than 2 minutes ask as many "what if" and absurd "what if" statements as you can the reason I'm asking you to do it fast because if you do it slow you'll think of all the reasons you can't do it. and then one of those will spark a new idea for a new industry."
(27:00 – 27:08) Hire people who don't know anything about what you're working on. That's a bold and provocative statement. No. Because otherwise you'll hire people who think like you, how is that going to help you?