What Does Innovation Look Like?

I go to the actual physical bank sometimes. When I get checks in my PO box, I take them to the drive-thru for deposit. 

There’s a pen in the drive-thru canister. This is a newish development. Maybe 10-15 years ago (I can’t remember when), bank tellers got wise to human behavior. They added a pen to the canister. Before that, I used to wonder as I pulled into a line which customers would be in cars without pens.

You may remember how it went. You’d see them pull up to their time in the spotlight. They’d press the button to ask the teller, “Do you have a pen?” The canister would go back and forth. Then the person would fill out the deposit slip or endorse the check or whatever.

So, this was quite a delay for whoever was behind that person without the pen.

Way back when, banks may have been the first type of organization to actually chain their pens to the counters.

I can only imagine the day the meeting took place where someone said, “What if… now hear me out here… we don’t worry so much about protecting our pens but instead think about how we can make our process more efficient?”  

And at some point, someone finally decided to just go ahead and put pens in the canisters. A new way of doing things caught on.

Change doesn’t have to be big. Or expensive. Sometimes you can do this one small thing differently, and it makes a difference. Such as the time I had the really smart idea to store my coffee in the cabinet near my coffee pot – and not across the room.

You could go with human behavior. Like, what if it actually became to rage to store our television remotes in our sofa cushions? What if that wasn’t the place we “found” them when they were lost, but where we “placed” them so they wouldn’t be lost? It could work.

Or just put pens where you know people need them. Whatever it is, you can look at your premise differently. And you might just find innovation.

So how to wrap that up in a story shaping bubble? Innovate your point of view, your perspective. Not hugely. Just slightly. Look for something good, overlook something bad. Let go of a discouraging thought. Pick up an encouraging one. And enjoy your magnificent journey.

– Minnie Lamberth
The Magnificent Journey
Vol 3, Issue 4

Photo by Gabrielle Henderson on Unsplash