When you are championing a project, it’s 100% your responsibility to talk about it. To let people know what you’re up to so you can get resources and support. In the past, I’ve characterized this responsibility as “asking for help”, because getting help is essential to move your project forward and allow it to grow and evolve.
What I’ve realized over this last week, though, is that there’s a more powerful force at play in the development of your project. This force ascends asking for help, and has been in the picture from the inception of my main project, the Daily News Innovation Lab, even though I’d never put a name to it before.
This is what made me recognize it.
About two weeks ago, Paul Kim, the Daily News’s Digital Creative Director, stopped by my office with a suggestion.
Paul saw the Innovation Lab team hosting events and engaging with the New York start-up community, and wanted to make sure that the Company was putting our best foot forward, representing the Daily News as well as possible. He suggested that it was time to update our Innovation Lab logo to make it cleaner, more readable, and more modern. Paul asked if the design team could put a resource against rethinking the Innovation Lab logo.
Enter Katrina Nipal, and an amazing process of brainstorming and iterations and versions that culminated last week, with a presentation of the design team’s recommendation for a new logo for the Daily News Innovation Lab. The new logo design was unanimously approved.
Everyone is busy and has a million projects and work obligations and personal commitments of their own. The fact that Paul and Katrina took his project on, without anyone ever asking them to do so, had an incredible impact on me and my perspective of the entire innovation community. There’s a force in play that’s more powerful than asking for help. That force is activated when you share your vision, and when, somehow, something you’re doing resonates with others, and inspires them to participate- even when they aren’t asked.
Now that I reflect on how the Innovation Lab has developed over the past three years, I see that this force has been there all along- I’d just never put a name to it. It happened when Sammy Simpson came to me with the idea to develop a mission statement for the Innovation Lab. And when Regus offered program graduates free office space. And when Gust and Microsoft came on as program partners without ever being solicited.
Of course, there’s no way to plan or schedule around this force. It has to occur organically. But when it does, it’s massively inspiring.