November 3, 2023


Today I was downtown at a design conference. As soon as I walked into the conference doors, it was chaos. The room I entered was packed full of people. We were standing like sardines in a can. 🐟

Conference registration was happening in the entry point where you entered the building and that space was not designed to hold that many people. It was meant for, you guessed it, entering the building. 

😣 I squished my way through many people to find my line for registration. To make light of the situation, we all joked around said, "look for the tail". Oh the "tail wraps around over there." 

I was baffled at the fact why it was decided to put the registration at the entry doors. And the irony of it all... I was at a design conference and it had a poorly designed registration site. 🤯

As I stood there, I couldn't help but think, this needs innovation. 🚀 There are so many ways to do this better. 💡

My innovation brain went into high gear and started the innovation process thoroughly understand the problem to solve. 

I thought, what's causing this problem in the first place? Here’s what I noticed: 👀

➡️ Problem #1: Too many people coming in at once and not enough people exiting the room to accommodate for the inflow of people.

➡️ Problem #2: Too small of a space. Both sides of the small room were flanked with doors and they were closed the entire time we were in there.

➡️ Problem #3: Some lines were a lot longer than others. The E-G last name long was by far the longest where other lines had very few people in them.

These were definitely the root cause. Then, I started to dream. Dreaming up new ideas for the problem at hand. 💭

➡️  What if the registration happened in a different location?

➡️  If it was in the same location, what if it was rotated so that all the doors were opened (not closed) so people could get to their line much easier and not have to both hunt for it and snake around other people's line?

➡️  What if there was literally an entry way that allowed people who didn't need to register to just walk right in?

➡️  What if more volunteer staff were called in to help with the huge influx of people?

➡️ What if different last name combinations were created so there was an even number of people in line instead of the vastly different lines?

It stopped there, because I wasn’t in charge and couldn’t get to prototyping… but I share this with you today, to remind you that innovation is needed EVERYWHERE. It’s needed in your role. It’s needed in your department. It’s needed at your organization. It’s needed at your home.

🙋🏻‍♂️ What in your life could use innovation?

  1. Start by thoroughly understanding the problem to solve. Think about something at work or at home that really IRKS you or others. Something that causes you/others pain. Something that bugs you/others. Often this starts by observation. 👀  
  2. Determine, what exactly is causing the pain of the problem, the root cause? 🫚
  3. Once all of this is identified, you DREAM. 💭 You come up with solutions to address the root cause of the problem. There’s limitless possibilities here. You can do ANYTHING, so what it’ll be?
  4. Next, you go to a prototype. Ideas need to be concretely formed into reality. ⚙️

There’s much more to innovating, but here’s some tips to get you started. I hope you found this helpful!

Now I’d love to know from you… what will YOU be innovating? What questions do YOU have about innovation? Comment and let me know. 📝

About the Author

Leo is a people and heart-first entrepreneur who believes everyone can be an innovator. An innovator himself, with 55 US patents and over 20 years of experience, Leo has come alongside organizations like Chick-fil-A and guided them to unleash the innovative potential of their employees by transforming them into confident innovators.

Leo’s friendly, joyful and enthusiastic demeanour makes the journey to innovation exciting and attainable. Leo’s also a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® trainer & facilitator who believes unlocking innovation takes new approaches.

Leave a Reply
{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}