How flying drones will boost your curious mind

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to view the world”

John Le Carre

I was waking up every day at 6:00 am during my holidays. It was just the right time to ride my bike to some beautiful small beaches in the cozy coast of Alicante and experience a stunning sunrise. I was completely alone, and I could fly my drone to capture some beautiful vertical shots of the coast line, where blue and orange merge with each other.

I could not explain the reason behind my proactive daily exercise of “sleep deprivation”. Why I would sacrifice resting in the bed for such a physically exhausting experience?

While talking about it with a great mentor and friend, he answered to me straight forward: “you do it because that is your nature, you always love to see the world from a different angle and then spread the word about what you have observed”.

Ups, I never thought about my passion for aerial photography in such way, but moreover, I had never reflected before on that to be the reason and the fundamental link between the main areas of expertise during my professional career: Marketing, Strategic Planning, Innovation, and Customer Experience.

But my mentor had no doubt: that was the backbone of what I have been doing along the years: observing, empathizing, modelling and taking action. And everything started with a sense for deep observation, whether it was analyzing a market, a technology, a customer or a competitor.

Isn’t it that what Marketing, Innovation and Customer Experience is all about?

September – Personal goal setting time

Summer is normally the best moment for personal deep-thinking. I don’t believe leveraging on January as a kick-off opportunity for making commitments make sense for me, as September seems to be a more natural period for it.

While internal personal goals definition is great, I was thinking about making a public commitment this time. Just as Hernán Cortés did by destroying the ships when arriving in America so chances of coming back were reduced, making public commitments acts as a powerful nudge to act on them.

I found the metaphor of “drone flying” for sound observation of the world around so powerful, that I’m making it my personal motto for the 2021/2022 season:

During 2021/2022 season, I will be “flying drones” to observe the world from a radical different angle

And that “flying drones” approach will mean everything that:

  • Helps acquiring new knowledge and represents a significant upskilling opportunity.
  • Supports meeting new people and discuss about Innovation and Product Management from a totally different perspective.
  • Broadens the view of the world and the relevant social and economical changes that are happening these days and those to come.

So there we go, these are some of my 2021/2022 goals… 😉

  • Skilling – Become a certified drone pilot

First things first. Beyond the metaphor, real drone flying is amazing. While I have made a good progress this year and I got my official AESA pilot ID, I want to progress by getting the license to fly bigger beasts above 250gr. That would permit accessing new territories and keep on observing the world up to 120 meters.

  • Boosting creativity – Learn a new instrument

Being a father, I’m amazed with the curiosity that kids have with everything. The beauty of learning something new from zero is just phenomenal. Last year I tried to play piano for the very first time during the lockdown. While becoming a new Mozart is far away from my aspirations, just being able to play some easy pop songs would be great. Observing the notes, understanding how they interact among each other as chords, and creating some music out of it produces so much pleasure.

  • Upgrading my professional toolkit – Embrace “no code”

Although I personally do not physically create digital products, I’m responsible for the conceptualization, launch and operation of many of them. Proven that I don’t have a coding background and I’m not a developer, embracing the possibilities that “no code” brings will very much help conceptualizing and prototyping new digital services without costly and time-consuming processes. There are a couple of interesting programs to get to know “non-code” that I’m exploring right now.

  • Establishing new connections – Meet relevant people from other industries

What you eat has a fundamental effect on how you feel. The same applies to feeding you brain by meeting relevant people and have sound conversations. The quality of your perception of the world is highly correlated with the quality of the conversations you have with bright and optimistic people around. It is my intention to have at least 1-2 powerful conversations a week and so far, I’m being quite successful.

So here is the plan. After making this public commitment, I will be summarizing the progress done by September 2022. For sure these plans will get somehow derailed, but that will be OK as the other projects colliding with this initial plan help me progressing with the ultimate goal: getting better at observing, empathizing, modelling and taking action.

Let me know should you like to fly together…

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