I often start and end an innovation workshop with a personal “weather report”. What are you? Sunny? Cloudy? Stormy? Breezy? It is a simple way to understand how people are arriving to that moment or how they are leaving. A couple of metaphorical words and you understand a lot. It doesn’t really matter what their weather report is as much as it matters to understand where a person is. Being stormy is not in some way better or worse than being sunny, though I often see “stormy” people a bit shy about offering that report. With innovation work, the key is to be present and tapping into your personal weather report is a simple way of being so.
Another weather condition of innovation is that usually it begins with a weather report of foggy. It is unclear where we might go. There is nothing wrong with being foggy, but it is important to understand that it is. With that, you can bring your flashlight and shine it into the murky abyss and take a step forward and more of your path is illuminated. A bit of faith is required. But, as my friend and colleague Jeff Fenter says, “The path ahead is foggy; but it’s a path, not a cliff.”
Before you begin a new activity or launch on a new path, pause and do a quick “check in” with yourself on where you are. Be present before moving forward.