There can hardly more diverse places than airports. I am sitting at Copenhagen airport, Denmark, and I literally have the whole world right next to me. Surrounded by all the planes taking off and landing, almost like a swarm of flies from a distance, we’re the swarm of people together in the terminal:
A French speaking couple walk past, a Russian mother with her daughter, then an Arab business man, and a surfer dude with the broadest Australian accent. Some people don’t seem to register each others differences, others appear amused and some quite curious.
This “pool of people” reminds me of something. Research and history has shown that innovation happens when two or more parts that don’t fall within the same group (that can be in relation to knowledge of a field, if you look at it from an employee/firm perspective) cooperate and create novel combinations. Alternatively, a third party gets the “eureka moment” by combining the two. Apply this to an airport, where diversity is literally all over, and new combinations of knowledge could be limitless.
In addition, being at an airport usually involves time constraints before flights depart, and this actually adds to my point. Research has also shown that a bit of time pressure (under the right circumstances) may enhance innovation processes.
This is where my thoughts lead to: Do you want to be more innovative? Are you looking for new inputs to your business idea, your product or to a specific problem? Here is my suggestion: Head to the airport. The possibilities for innovations and new ideas may just be as bright as the sky the planes are heading for. The only way is up!