I keep a source of fresh thinking close at hand. My colleague for 20 years, Jennifer Jarratt, brings a fresh approach to nearly every topic, and is a dependable discoverer of new sources of inspiration. Having her close by is a great luxury. But I also look for and try to keep up with people I like to call, “reframers”. The people described and linked below are on my list of reframers who reliably bring me new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Most write blogs or regular print/online columns. By laying down their own ideas or linking to and commenting on things they discover, these folks keep delivering me valuable new ideas. It may be their brilliance, their distinct background and experiences, their dogged hard work, or just plain cussedness that lets them do this. Whichever way they get there, I know I get a benefit.
I know there are others I should pay attention to, but here’s my list:
Jack Uldrich – his blog, Unlearning 101, is a place for his continuing commentary about our need to unlearn old, rigid, ideas. In many ways, Uldrich’s mission is like mine with Foresight Culture.
Stephen J. Dubner and Steven D. Levitt — co-authors of Freakonomics who write Freakonomics: The Hidden Side of Everything. It’s a blog that ranges widely, with something interesting on most days.
Chris Anderson – Anderson has a blog stemming from his book The Long Tail which he says is “a public diary on themes around a book.” I found The Long Tail really interesting, and try to keep up with what Chris has to say. He also recently authored Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business.
Clayton Christensen – Christensen pioneered thinking on “disruptive technologies.” His website links to his work, along with interviews and other news. Jennifer and I find it powerful to look at the potential disruptive technologies in the business sectors we serve.
Malcolm Gladwell – Gladwell has a blog, but it’s not very active. His online thoughts, including his New Yorker pieces are captured at www.gladwell.com, where there’s also a blog link. Gladwell reliably comes up with new ways of thinking about things, worth exploring whether you agree (I usually do) or think he’s got it all wrong (occasionally I do).
Guy Kawasaki – Kawasaki seems to find interesting things to comment on and have an interesting perspective on technology, business, and life. He blogs at: blog.guykawasaki.com/
Jan Chipchase – Chipchase, often called a corporate anthropologist (he does not claim to be) works for Nokia traveling the world to better understand how people use technology. He combines innovative thinking with a different, visual perspective on the world. His extensive traveling gives the blog visitor a window in on all kinds of cultural observations all over the world. Most of his content is pictures. See Future Perfect at: http://www.janchipchase.com/
Peter Cochrane – Cochrane, formerly of British Telecom, has shared interesting insights on information technology for many years, and is worth reading every time. His Silicon.com column is at: comment.silicon.com/petercochrane/
James Surowiecki — Surowiecki is a great explainer of economic and financial things, and usually has a perspective different from the conventional wisdom on business and economics. He’s a New Yorker columnist, and the author of The Wisdom of Crowds.
Seth Godin – In his wide-ranging musings, on his blog, Godin often shares insights on how to think differently about business, business models, brands, and marketing.
Most or all of these thinkers offer RSS feeds of their web offerings, so if you use an RSS reader, you can keep up with those you find interesting, without having to remember to look up their sites.
I would love to hear your thoughts on other great sources of inspiration.