People are individuals, and we each have our unique way of being creative and innovative. As a consultancy and software development company, we also need to find and unlock that innovative vibe within ourselves to help our clients. Our clients primarily develop B2B software solutions, so we don’t have to be as creative as Michelangelo. We just need to be able to think outside of the box and help customers with a fresh perspective on innovation or their user experience. Or perhaps a new way in which we approach specific processes. Nothing earth-shattering or mind-blowing, but having the ability to look at things from different perspectives and experiment with different options.
So how do we train ourselves to keep our curiosity alive and our minds open? We each have different ways that work for us. There is no one size fits all. One may like to read management books, and the other likes to get creative in the kitchen. I get inspired by nature, taking walks, letting my senses focus on the beauty around me. And after a while, I automatically start to think about new ideas or how to solve challenges. Reading books, fiction, and escaping to another world that becomes alive in my mind is another way to stay creative. And being around my horse and dog helps me use all senses. I have to listen to their energy and non-verbal communication which helps me improve my skills. This has opened my world, giving me a new layer of information and inspiration.
These personal passions help me in my daily work. They fuel my empathy and enable me to view the world from other people’s perspectives; they give me new food for thought and fresh inspiration. But I am a very fluid and empathetic person by nature. So how does a software architect feed his inspiration? Or a delivery manager?
“I always enjoyed taking walks. It is a very calming activity that allows me to reflect on the things that happen to me. This gives me the inspiration to approach the things that need to be solved. Although researchers just began to understand the link between our vision and mainly peripheral vision and the stress and anxiety levels, a short 30-minute walk can significantly influence the levels of hormones that drive essential parts of our health. Not to mention that the days I don’t jog, my number of daily steps plunge, and my activity tracker lowers my readiness score. Although I don’t see myself as a very competitive person, I hate when that happens and do everything to prevent it.” So says Remus Pereni, CTO at Yonder.
And he continues, “Sometimes when I’m drained and not in the mood for some serious thinking or introspection, I listen to Tim Ferriss podcasts during my walks. He usually has fantastic guests who constantly manage to blow my mind and push my thinking outside my regular bubble. This has a lot to do with another thing I have always enjoyed: reading biographies, mostly of scientists or engineers. I love the whole process and struggle of bringing light to an area of science or engineering. So, winding down after a long day with some calm music, a good cup of tea, and a book while letting your mind coast away on some thoughts or dreams is where I get my source of ideas for the following days.
A similar process is also during the morning meditation, where 30 minutes of stillness and presence allows me to ask difficult or crazy questions that never fail to enlighten new ways to approach things or get valuable insight.”
Anca Cuc is a senior delivery manager at Yonder, which requires a lot of contact with colleagues and clients during the day. She has fully adapted to the online environment. “Everybody is just one Teams’ call away. So, people are very close, no matter where they are in the world. It gives me energy and learning points to talk to different people on different subjects and manage various projects at the same time. It is fast, quick, demanding, yet energizing. Another method that stimulates my curiosity is the TSS learning curriculum. So next to being in an international work environment, I am also part of an international learning program, making this the perfect place for me to be. I am meeting many new colleagues from different business units and countries learning about the challenges (and similarities) in different verticals or regions; it is all very stimulating, making my world evolve constantly. I am loving it!”
As Anca has two young children in elementary school, having relaxed weekends with calm music and drinking a cup of tea is not yet part of her life. “We are an active family, and I recharge my batteries and push my limits in the mountains. When there is snow, the four of us go skiing, but we go mountain climbing when the weather is nice. Not just my husband and I, but we enjoy the thrill of conquering the mountain as a family. Climbing is adventurous; it pushes you out of your comfort zone and makes you reach for new heights. This makes me more courageous and creative, knowing that once I manage one challenge (whether it is a mountain, work, or life), I am better prepared for the next one. And like most people in this world, I love some good social times. Being with your family or good friends, fresh air, and lots of laughter are the ingredients for a perfect rejuvenation moment.”
Different people have different ways to refuel themselves so they can grow. A healthy curiosity to explore new things and push your boundaries is a great gift. We don’t need to be alike, but at Yonder, we have the curiosity and passion for growing and exploring. And that means that we also need to recharge our batteries through mindfulness, fun, or sports to continue our journey as people and as a company.