Since we started working with The Reading Agency last year, one message has really stuck in my mind.
“We should be encouraged to read in a way that feels right for us”
Reading in a way that feels right for us. Not right for our school teachers, or well-meaning parents, friends or the people we follow on Instagram. For some, that might be a newspaper. For others, it might be a comic, a short story, or the biography of a sports star. A few might choose to read War and Peace, but I wonder how many of us have struggled on with a book because we’ve believed without question that it’s the ‘right’ thing to read?
There’s a lot we can learn from The Reading Agency’s mantra.
Unhelpful rules about the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way of doing things are alive and well – and the workplace is no exception. Of course, questioning the way we do every single thing will probably result in zero productivity and a bunch of irate colleagues. Sometimes, though, stopping for a moment to ask whether something can be done differently can have quite magical results.
Last week, one of Stand Agency’s client teams started to plan a brainstorm. We wanted to come away with some amazing creative ideas for our client Anchor, the not-for-profit care home provider. The classic meeting room / packet of biscuits combo just wasn’t going to cut it. So team and client set off together to the Design Museum, for two hours of inspiration at the ‘New Old’ exhibition which explores how we can manage ageing and issues like dementia in a positive way.
It worked a treat. The group came away with new perspectives and creative ideas that may not have seen the light of day in a different environment.
For Becky, everything came to life when she discovered a space in the museum where an older person is invited to sit down and chat to the public. Nyree on the other hand was amazed by the ceiling – the architecture and space in the main atrium blew her away. Jess loved the live polling of people about older life as they entered the museum.
The point is, we are all different. What inspires one person and gets their mind whirring will leave another feeling cold. In the same way that the first chapter of a book might leave one person itching to read on, but leave someone else wondering what they should cook for dinner.
Things start to get exciting when we learn what really interests and motivates us, and sometimes it’s not where we’d expect to find it. So next time you need a bit of inspiration, look in a different place. You might surprise yourself.
Thumbnail Image: Josie Shenoy Illustration