An Idea was born
Although the idea to this blog was born on February 5, 2020, it actually started many years ago. On this early February we both caught up in the Westhive Coworking Space in Zurich. We wanted to finish working on an idea we had for months, if not years. We had met many years ago through the Swiss IRM Regional Group Meetings in Zurich when we were studying Risk Management. As we have worked in different industries – Christian in heavy machinery and later in medical devices, and Thierry in Air Traffic Management – we loved discussing and comparing our experiences. Although the two industries would have nothing in common we could learn a lot from each other. How to become more productive, how to identify and mitigate risks.
To complicate is easy. To simplify is difficult.
Our exchanges were always fruitful, and quite frankly they were a lot of fun. We both found that facilitating change and decision making is what drives us. We learnt that it’s much more sustainable and even self propelling when we can inspire others to see the bigger picture. There is one very effective means for that: Storytelling.
From the idea to the concept
We started then to structure our ideas: What is our purpose? What are the means? How will it add value for others? How will we measure to improve? As we discussed energetically, Christian was jotting down our thoughts. What came out of it is what we call our manifesto with our core values:
- deliver value,
- always tell stories,
- listen to the audience & never stop improving
Before we could start we wanted to have our idea tested. Many months ago we met an acquaintance, an entrepreneur active in the tech-world to whom we wanted to pitch our idea. Josh challenged us and helped to advance and better understand our idea. A couple of hours – and beers – later we were all set up. Our plan was ready.
Don’t be comfortable, and get challenged
Just a few weeks later the Covid-crisis began to get worse and worse in Europe. On March 16, Switzerland went into lockdown leaving both of us working from home. Although this time was quite stressful for us, we saw the opportunity not to have to commute and rather use it to build the website.
None of us had any prior experience with blogging. Although the decision to start a blog was easy to be made, building one was not. Before we even could publishing the first article we had to find out how to actually build a website from scratch. To reserve the web-address we had to come up with a name first (find out below why we have chosen Wise Fools Tales). Finding a web host and reserve the domain was the easy bit. But building a website from scratch did not only require a significant amount of learning, but also a lot of trial and error. Luckily we had a lot of support. A good friend of Christian has just started a very successful blog herself and helped us with the technical details. At home Christian’s girlfriend – a digital marketing professional – wasn’t getting tired to explain him everything from CMS to SEO (thank you honey for your patience of a saint ❤️).
Get it done ahead of time
As we wanted the website to have a modern appearance we chose from a wide range of templates on Envato. Although the templates come with predefined format we still had to build the whole page by ourselves. Yes, we could have hired someone, but this was our project. It was part of the whole experience to master a new skill.
While the world was in crisis both of us were left with the chance to use the evenings we usually spent in public transport to work on the page and having skype calls. Thanks to this we managed to finish the website more than one month ahead of schedule. Now it was getting serious.
What blogging requires?
It is not just the technical stuff we had to master. Writing an article was actually harder than we thought. More than that, we value the time of you – our audience. We could have chosen to just dump some bullet points and copy and paste but our mission included that we make it catchy (have you read the article how to make a killer presentation?). Telling stories is what we’ve found the most effective. It also prevents us to fall in the trap of writing detailed articles on specific topics, that only a few experts would understand or be interested in.
The fact that we get feedback from you – things you like and didn’t – is how we make progress. Also, having so many people suggesting topics, asking which books we read lifts us up.
Blogging requires ideas and effort – and constant input. Publishing an article on a weekly basis – every Thursday – is pretty challenging, even when we share the work. But if it would be easy it wouldn’t be a challenge.
How to pick a name
The total amount of blog name suggestions on our joint Trello board was 84. Eighty-four. Every time we came across some ideas we would write them on the board. Some of them were quite catchy and fitting our cause – like Mind your Business – but already taken. In January of 2020 Christian attended some remote study on agile leadership. There he learnt the concept of the Wise Fool: the person that is always asking how.
It was a child that exposed the fact that the emperor was naked
Kids discover by asking questions. How does it work? Why does it work? What else could it do? In our business world this person is the Scrum Master or Agile Project Manager. The one who is empowering others to strive and to improve. The one that is using storytelling to get ideas across. So the name was born: Wise Fools Tales.
How to find inspiration?
The word inspire has its origin in the latin word inspirare, which means to breathe or blow into. So to blow life into an idea you need something to start with. We are both interested in many domains. As a result we read articles, blogs and books, and listen to podcast on all sort of topics. We will share our sources of inspiration with all of you in the Book club – starting next week.
One way to innovate is to link two concepts that apparently have nothing to do with each other and look for new outcomes. Using a sparring partner, with whom you can freely talk is a great way for us to test our own reasoning and see whether it actually is a topic for a new article.
Besides, feedback from our readers, friends and colleagues is a great source of inspiration. It brings a different and sometimes confronting view that is key in order to keep a critical thinking. It also encourages us to look into new areas we wouldn’t have thought of by ourselves.
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