We are living in a chaotic trying time… but I’m seeing some amazing, exciting things happen.
Nationally and even globally people have been pulling apart from each other. Right now, we face a common foe and that’s changing. People are uniting, working together.
It’s not just people reaching deep into their pockets to donate and help. We’re seeing massive amounts of innovation based on converging ideas.
In my city, state, and all across this country we are seeing businesses step up to do what governments can’t. Innovate, re-create, develop new ideas and technologies.
They’re solving problems not in isolation but in teams.
It’s a team of teams made up of very diverse people with different skills. They are putting their heads together and springboarding off of each other’s concepts.
There are so many stories out there, it could fill a volume.
In a recent article by Paul Earle he calls it “hyper collaboration.” Companies are banding together that would normally be competitors.
Scientists are collaborating - sharing information freely to the common good and stop COVID-19.
Oregon is home to a HUGE number of breweries and micro-breweries. I lost count of how many are now making hand sanitizer.
Nike is working with OHSU, the big research hospital in Portland, to design new face shields. They’re using a “cross-functional” team.
Every type of job whether engineer, tech specialist, or purchasing has different information. When you blend diversity...you get somewhere faster.
Intel has donated millions of dollars to fight the virus. But they have also donated a million units of personal protective equipment (PPE).
A lot of people don’t think about it but tech companies like Intel, use this equipment too.
Their labs where they make your computer chips are like hospital surgical rooms. Nobody goes in wearing street clothes...it could contaminate the chips and they wouldn’t work.
But Intel has also teamed up with Lenovo and a Beijing genomics company to try and accelerate research to help stop the virus.
Fashion brands including Prada, COS, Louis Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, and many others are switching to making personal protective equipment.
I found uniform manufacturers like Fashionizer, MLB and Goose are making non-medical facemasks that can be used in shortages. They will also be sold to consumers who want/need something to wear when they have to be out of their homes.
You have to love the Twitter post of Michael Rubin on Twitter in the pin-stripe PPE his company MLB is making. They normally make baseball team jerseys. Their goal is 1 million pieces of PPE that they will be donating to medical centers. Your doctor could soon be sporting an MLB jersey PPE.
And to give people a bit of laughter to raise their spirits...bartenders have been creating. The new official cocktail of 2020: the QUARANTINI.
CPAPS used to control sleep apnea are being tweaked and used as ventilators.
Collective innovation is the new buzzword between top business leaders.
When people of diversity work together...we can achieve amazing things.
This same type of activity often happens in product development. So the converging ideas format may be the perfect style to tell your product or invention’s story.
Readers see how your team/group/collaboration came together to make their lives better.
The one key to remember is to showcase the diversity of your team and their approaches.
Someone may discover an idea that could... say “improve breathing capacity.”
But how should it be formulated?
What’s the best delivery system?
How to get it manufactured?
What are the federal regulations that need to be complied with?
This doesn’t even address how to market it.
Lots of moving parts.
You need to set the stage for your story by talking about the challenge that you faced.
Were you motivated by a personal need? Was it for a family member? Was it for a specific customer or patient? Motivation is tied to emotions. Emotion is a trigger for most of us and keeps your reader reading.
Were there other things you tried that didn’t work?
Give them a bit on “why you,” your credentials, what makes you the person to do this.
Use that as a lead, then take us into the first story about its development. This might be your research. Hours and hours scouring the internet? The library? Were you up late at night designing, formulating and trying to figure this out….
You might have hit a stumbling block along the way where you didn’t have the answers and turned to a team member or outside support person...
Take the person you turned to and tell how they took a look at what you created and how they extrapolated it to build on it. Include a dash on their background and how they looked at the project differently.
When you reach the next stumbling block...move into the next story about the next contributor.
Repeat this for each of the different people who contributed their unique expertise.
I find it easiest to do this using a checklist of things you don’t want to forget to include. Next, create an outline. Review it and then flesh out your story.
Converging ideas stories actually are following the Petal Story format that I shared with you a few days ago. You can use it as a more detailed guide.
But there’s another way to tell converging ideas stories…
Share how you came up with a new idea story. Then how you pulled your team together in person or virtually.
Share their different backgrounds and how each of them took on a part/role. You all worked on different parts of the new idea at the same time.
So instead of sequential, the stories are simultaneous. You have to think about it a little and make a decision as to the order you want to tell the stories in.
The final phase is to weave the threads of stories you have told together. Show how the group efforts blended together to create your new product.
Then share your results...your amazing success story. Include some testimonials or snippets of client successes. Got a great picture? Include it.
Judith Culp Pearson is a problem solver. She puts those problem-solving skills to work to help others. She loves to help people tell their personal stories, their product stories, and their client success stories.