What​ ​If​ ​Going​ ​to​ ​the​ ​Wrong​ ​Places​ ​Is​ ​Good​ ​for​ ​Growing​ ​Innovation?

What if innovation does not only happen at unexpected times but in unexpected places?

Matthew Murrie

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What if, it is not just about getting out of your comfort zone; it is about getting out of your physical location?

And what if, in your search for innovation and insight, you do not just go somewhere different or new, you go somewhere you should not go?

Can you make yourself more uncomfortable than being where you are not supposed to be? For example, as a university student, I went to Spain to study French. Then, I spent two years living in the crater of an extinct, Balkan volcano as a Peace Corps volunteer where every day — from cold, bucket showers to reading and writing in Cyrillic — was an adventure of navigating discomfort. Later, when I was working as an English Professor, I attended a conference on business innovation. Today, I am an entrepreneur working in Colombia using the Spanish I learned in Spain. What I am doing today was not my intention when I went to Spain to study French and it is way better than anything I could have planned.

What if, by going where you are not supposed to go, you open yourself up to opportunities you would never have discovered by only going where you were supposed to go?

While going where you are not supposed to go could be messy and scary at first, what if innovation is rarely clean or pretty? But what if, going where you are not supposed to go with the right attitude makes all the difference?

Today, I intentionally look for places to go I should not go all in the name of innovation. For some, going where they are not supposed to go could be working from home instead of the office. Or, they might work from a park or library, or bus station to gain a new perspective or innovative idea on a task. For others, going where they should not go, could be attending an event that is out of their field of work or interest in order to gain ideas or explore unexpected opportunities. Some use their vacation destinations as places to go where they know they will get lost or be challenged in difficult ways. What if it is this fight to fit in that leads to the innovation they later put in to solve their problems?

What if it is as simple as going where you are not supposed to in order to innovate like you are supposed to?

Where are you going to go?

Keep your curiosity going with more What? to Wow! and Curiosity-Based Thinking content and activities from What If Curiosity and The Book of What If…?

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Matthew Murrie

Author of The Book of What If…?, Founder of What If Curiosity, and Creator of Curiosity-Based Thinking and Curiosity-Based Learning, turning ideas into actions.