I was watching a profile on Sal Khan (of Khan Academy) the other day and one of the interviewees said something that always resonates with me - the most impactful disruptors and innovators that change your industry often come from outside your industry.
Now, we can take this on a macro level and ask who and what "from outside" will be the big disruptor in the market research industry?
But we can also take this on a more micro level and note that disruptors for CPG research may come from B2B research, disruptors for quant research may come from qual research, and so on.
And the disruptor could be you!
As we've talked about on this blog leading up to TMRE this fall, one of the big benefits of attending events is that you get to mix and mingle with folks outside of your particular industry and that's a good thing! What better way to get some fresh thinking and learn new ideas?
Once folks get onsite at a conference, many tend to confer with their specific industry peers and share "war stories" - that's great but get out of your comfort zone! Don't just confer with someone who does, pretty much, exactly what you do - chat with folks who do something vastly different...you'll likely learn something!
That goes for sessions too. Of course you want to attend sessions that have a direct bearing on your job, but pick at least one session that may be a little "out there" for what you do - you could pick up a nugget of insight that does have relevance to your job.
If you're looking for an interesting take on innovation and breakthrough ideas happening when you bring concepts from one field into another, check out The Medici Effect: What Elephants and Epidemics Can Teach Us About Innovation.
And for a pretty comprehensive list of excellent reads about innovation, check out this list (airplane reading for your TMRE trip?).