Building and evolving a business always requires new insights and new ideas about what's happening inside and outside your organization. And one of the toughest things to do is to shake out of the daily grind and find new ideas about what we can or should be doing differently. Routines become monotonous, and we go about our business.
Organizations often bring in consultants for as "outsiders perspective". Sometimes, the consultants have an area of expertise, and other times they simply come in to bring in a different perspective. As experts, they charge by the hour or the project, and bring their prior experiences and biases to the table.
How about trying something new this summer. Dump the consultants and bring in some young interns to bring those ideas to the table. Don't send the interns on coffee runs or stick them in a cube sorting out papers. Give them hard and challenging projects to work on, and take the time to teach them.
Will the interns learn and benefit a lot? You bet. However, you will too. Often, the best way to learn is to teach. If you take the time to dig into the basics and explain concepts and listen to the questions that the interns ask, you will invariably get new ideas that you have not thought about before.
We have four interns at our small company this summer. They have four very different projects that have been well thought out. At the end of each of their assignments, they will have something tangible to add to their resume, and we will have something we benefit from. We seat them right smack in the middle of the office so they can listen and learn while they work on their projects. And they come to lunch with us every day and we try to take the time to answer their questions. And that is often where we learn.
Want some new insights this summer. Find a smart intern and make their brains hurt. If you do it right, your brain will hurt as well.