Throughout Think Like A Futurist by Cecily Sommers she always comes back to mentioning or referencing the ZoD or the Zone of Discovery. For any successful business wishing to stay relevant in order to progress into the future, a Zone of Discovery is highly recommended. But what exactly is this “Zone of Discovery”, one might ask? Well, let’s talk about that.
In two previous posts, I discussed some topics that tie in with the Zone of Discovery. One of them is the left brain, right brain, left brain thought process and the second is the 5 Percent Rule. The 5 Percent Rule relates to the amount of your regular, busy work schedule and resources, should be dedicated to creative, out of the box, thinking. Just five percent of your time, resources, and space. Then, the right brain portion [of left, right, left] is generally worked on in the space created by the 5 Percent Rule, which is the Zone of Discovery.
This space can be a bulletin board, a wall, an office space, or an entire room. Again, it all comes down to what five percent is for you and your business. For a large company five percent could be an entire room loaded with computers and imagery. While, for a tiny business, five percent may be something as simple as a bulletin board of some kind meant for anyone to come and pin/post ideas or suggestions that they have in mind.
Time wise, for individuals in a much larger work setting, five percent of their, general, forty-hour work week would be two hours. To dedicate two hours of your usual work week is all that is needed for the continuation of your creative flow. It will allow you to continue and stay on top of your usual work, but you will also be helping with developing new ideas because of the two hours dedicated to creative thinking each week. For a smaller business, dedicating two hours each week is also to be considered since they will also, technically, have forty-hour work weeks.
When it comes to resources, it can be anything from just papers and pens to computers, projectors, and printers. Essentially it comes down to what exactly it is that you have available and can spare for an open and creative thinking environment. The Zone of Discovery is a space that is meant to be open and available to anyone that feels that they have a thought or idea that could potentially benefit the future of the business itself. Whether the idea is for a new product or if it is an idea for solving a problem that the business is having, such as which direction the company should go in. These are all things that can be worked on and developed within the space that is meant for creative thinking.
Cecily Sommers will highly recommend establishing some form of Zone of Discovery to anyone that comes to her, or her business, seeking her help. It is all a part of the process for thinking more “like a futurist” and progressing their business into the future.
With your own personal business, what would you establish as your Zone of Discovery?