October 24, 2022


How often are you stopping to notice what’s around you? To really pay attention and observe what’s happening? 

Observation is a key trait of innovators and when we’re too busy, we miss out. So do our organizations.

Last week, I took an Uber to Informa Connect's Front End of Innovation conference hotel from my AirBNB. I was expecting to get there quickly. 

The night before, it only took 10 mins to go to the conference hotel from my AirBNB - a two mile drive.

The next morning, when I called my Uber, I was surprised to see it said over 25 minutes. I shook my head in disbelief. I forgot there could be traffic and since I didn't live in the area I assumed it would be the same time.

Spoiler alert - my ride took over 35mins. 

During my ride, I kept looking at my arrival time. I didn’t anticipate how long the trip would take and realized I was going to arrive much later than I wanted.  

I resisted the delay. I wanted to get to where I needed to be fast - but we couldn’t. We stopped, a lot. And when we stopped, we stopped for long periods of time. During those times, I started noticing what’s around. Soon, I stopped looking at the arrival time and looked out the windows.

Rather than continuing to fight the delay, I decided to embrace and enjoy it. 

What could I do anyways! I was at the mercy of Boston traffic.

I saw smiling crossing guards, children, parents pushing their kids in strollers , interesting shops, people being kind to each other… I saw things I would have missed if I arrived in 10 mins - like the prior night. 

It reminded me of how important it is to slow down. We miss out so much when we don’t. Observations leads to innovation sparks.

Today, embrace the delays. In fact, I encourage you create a delay. Give yourself the gift of stopping and noticing. Observe. You’ll be surprised what you see. And maybe, what you see will spark your next innovative thought. 

What are your thoughts? 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"}