Books give not wisdom where was none before, / But where some is, there reading makes it more.
– Sir John Harrington (1615)
A colleague once asked me, “Where do you [and your practice] keep getting new ideas from?,” and my response was, “From reading.” But not reading medical journals or ‘throw-away’ publications (although the latter often do have some great ideas). From reading as varied topics in different industries as possible: business, marketing, technology, science, even fiction. And I have subscriptions to magazines and newsletters in these areas as well.
Our practice administrator usually knows when I have devoured a couple of management or marketing books over a weekend because I will barrage him on a Monday with a bunch of new ideas, some that we can either try out or at least bounce off the other partners if they’re too drastic. Not everything pans out – my partners may be quick to point out – but sometimes we score a hit. As conservative as most medical practices tend to be, they would do well to think outside the box.
Actually, even better is how Harry Beckwith, a Fortune 200 consultant, puts it:
Grow a Bigger Box
And the best way to grow your box bigger is to keep adding ideas to it. So, pick up a book on advertising or a magazine on fly-fishing, or watch the MythBusters program on television, and stuff some fresh new ideas in your box, then put them to work in your business – and make your business grow.