Nowdays we hear a lot of "focus, focus, focus" and those who say it are right. And those who say "diversify, diversify", and those who say "look around, think outside the box" are also right. How can they all be right? Isn't that a contradiction? Yes, and no. It is possible. For that we will learn what cross-pollination is.
What is your goal?
You have to have a clear focus on what your ultimate purpose is, the vision. Then, keeping that in mind you can start looking around for all kinds of examples or experiences, or even ideas, that -if and when properly translated for your specific industry and company- can be of value and accelerate your progress timeline. Yes, you can also do it in sprints, and have a scrum session, and see what can be useful, and what needs a bit more tweaking to fit and therefore requires more resources -time and money/people-, and some others that initially you thought could be of use and after a quick deeper look do not really fit.
You may wonder why is this post now here. Well it came back to my mind in a vivid way what I had been doing all my professional life, when I read this morning about a supermarket company in the UK that is using airport control software to manage their robotized warehouse, and that they are selling this technology to other supermarket chains, thus creating a potentially strong competitor to Amazon Fresh.
What is meant by cross-pollination?
When we are fine and happy because we do not have many competitors or at least we do not face a strong competitor, we become a bit lazy as we may feel comfortable and we tend lay back. Competition is a good wake up call. It is up to you to really wake up or roll over and take the opportunities that a globalized and hyperconnected world brings to your table. Read and visit sites, listen to podcasts, etc. of innovative companies in different industries. It will always be informative at the least, and inspiring. This is a cross polinization exercise that is always very healthy and mind challenging.
Enjoy the world, learn, and grow your business!