Using Life Experiences to Spur Innovative Thinking

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Do you ever feel like the people you are surrounded by at work or your employees seem to lack innovation? This could be because you are hiring the wrong type of people. All too often, companies miss out on extraordinary, young, innovative people simply because they are solely hiring based on resumes.

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Fred Cook, CEO of Golin, has taken an unconventional approach when it comes to new hires. He calls it the “Uninternship” program. Golin first launched the Uninternship program as a part of their entry level recruiting. They created a contest where they asked college students what they would do with a paid summer internship that allowed them to travel and gain unique experiences anywhere in the U.S.—except inside an office.

The winner of the contest chose an experience where he would travel the country doing a variety of activities from thrillers such as skydiving in Georgia to service based activities like building homes for the homeless in New Orleans. Richardson, the winner, explained why he chose the activities he did, saying, “I chose to do a combination of things that would scare me, expose me to new cultures, and provide a way I could be of service. As humans, we are the sum total of our experiences. Everything I go through becomes who I am. A plethora of experiences will drive inspiration."

Get to know your coworkers and employees: who they are, what they like to do, and what inspires and motivates them outside of the office. What you find might surprise you. When you get inside the heart of what makes them different and passionate you will unlock a slue of skills that you might not have known existed.

H/T Fast Company