After avoiding it in the theaters, World War Z now holds a place of honor in my Netflix cue. Look past the delightful, rampaging mayhem and puma fast zombies, and you have a strategy for business innovation.
What has me returning time and again is the premise of the nature of disease - of problems and challenges. In an early scene, the genius doctor (on whom ALL hopes are pinned!) speaks of piecing together the clues Mother Nature inadvertently reveals. That method of problem-solving leads our glorious hero (aka Brad Pitt) to follow the bread crumbs and help save the human race from extinction.
How did Mother Nature get away with so much? She hid the weakness beneath the most vicious characteristic of the disease - the zombies only attack the strong and avoid the sick. The characters had to get past what they thought they knew and re-examine the situation. Your stakes are likely not quite that high. However, therein lies a path to innovation for your business, too. Pitt's character drew on insights and information from other areas, went where the ideas and evidence led, and acted boldly and courageously.
Draw on Insights and Information from Outside Your Comfort Zone
What solution remains hidden from you because you're wrapped up in a conventional mindset? China's extreme measure of removing the entire population's teeth in a matter of days had left that nation intact in the film. Israel built a massive wall and those rabid zombies eventually climbed right on over. Needless to say, things weren't looking good when Pitt left Israel. Perhaps it's time to take a another look and consider something more extreme yourself. Deconstruct your business and piece it together from a fresh perspective. Include staff, advisers and partners to gain alternate points of view.
Go Where the Ideas and Evidence Lead You
Are you going to find the answer where you are now? As soon as Pitt gathered information and gained a solid, viable lead, he was ready to move. Answers in India? He's your man! Russia? Let's do it! Wales? Okay, less exciting, but bring it on! Innovation may be taking place down the street, in another state or a country thousands of mile away. Someone else's exact solution may not be your own, but it could be just the inspiration needed to find your path and take a leap forward.
Act Boldly and Courageously
Pitt's solution of infecting himself with a fatal disease to ward off the zombies was completely out of the box and extreme . . . and action hero brave. He'd followed Mother Nature's bread crumbs - seeing frenzied mobs of zombies literally flow around terminally ill humans. In following the clues around the globe, witnessed this in multiple countries. And, doing what entrepreneurs do best every day, he stepped out on faith and took a calculated risk.
Make Your Declaration
How can you create a space to deconstruct your business and declare war on stagnation. Is it a company-wide hackathon? Or joining a mastermind group? Or giving employees, and yourself, "study hall days" to pursue an idea that might just turn into your business' next innovation. Whatever the tactic, turn what you think you know on it's head.