Ethos of Zig Zag Days
Of all the innovation quotes out there, one of our favourites is this one by Thomas Edison:“There is a better way to do it. Find it”
The reason this quote is so effective is primarily because of it’s simplicity and directness, but also because it is uncompromising in it’s tone. Edison speaks as if he is stating it as fact. Without question or doubt, there is a better way and if you aren’t doing it, that’s simply because you haven’t found it. We believe this applies to growth oriented business owners and Zig Zag Days offer attendees the opportunity, the time and the space to find it. What makes these events even more enjoyable and rewarding for participants is the format. Whatever the desired outcome, fellow Zig Zag attendees encourage one another to find it and embolden one another, providing invaluable feedback through iterations of the solution.
Who should attend Zig Zag Days
There are two types of people we are attracting to the event:
• Those who run a business and have a very specific problem they need to tackle but don’t normally have the time and space to sink their teeth into it
• Owners and leaders of businesses who are looking to disrupt their industry / market with a new and innovative idea, but they don’t know what that looks like yet
What is unique about a Zig Zag Day?
⁃ Like a Fed-Ex Day and similar innovation immersion events, each attendee should be focused on outcomes and strategic implementation. However, unlike most of these events, Zig Zag Days are structured for individuals who work in different organisations or for themselves, so the issues or challenges being addressed will be unique to the individual and not necessarily part of a team effort. Attendees are not being asked to design a new app or piece of tech for the one company - attendees are being given the time and support to work on an issue or proactively develop new strategy that is specific to their business.
⁃ Zig Zag Days work by implementing a Wisdom-of-the-Room approach. This idea is simple. Take a dozen or so individuals who all work in different sectors, who all have different skill sets and who tackle problem solving in different ways, then leverage each individual’s talent through a series of feedback and rapid prototyping sessions. Silo structures work the opposite way, where each person or department keeps to themselves, carefully guarding their own ideas and trying to solve problems with the only resource they have at their disposal - themselves. But a wisdom of the room approach does the opposite. It supposes that not only is everyone in the room capable of seeing the problem from a very different perspective, everyone in the room is an expert in their own field and may have an approach to the problem that may not have been previously considered.
⁃ Zig Zag Days operate on the premise, "There is a better way. Find it." So the challenge to each attendees is not ‘if’ they can operate their business better but ‘how’ they can do it. This lays down the challenge for each individual to ‘find it’, that new system, a more efficient process, a game-changing product…. whatever it is, the focus of Zig Zag Days is forward-facing. This puts each attendee in a Proactive mind-frame, utilising a growth mindset philosophy, rather than feeling Reactive to a problem, under the pump, putting out fires, damage control, etc
Who has this worked for?
Ben Romalis who will be leading the Zig Zag Days in 2020 has personally had the pleasure of working with several notable organisations who embrace the value of innovation immersion events and aim to make it part of their daily culture. These include:
⁃ Starlight Children’s Foundation
⁃ Sydney University