Interview With David Byers
David is a thinker, facilitator and instigator of innovative ideas that help people in organisations achieve their goals. Our guest writer, Tamsin Montague, asked David about his background and his approach to what he does.
Tamsin Montague: Hi David, thanks for talking with me today. I'd like to start by asking about your background experience.
David Byers: Hi Tamsin. Well, for most of my working life I've been involved in helping people achieve their goals. Some years ago I was a systems analyst in the planning department of a large engineering firm. I investigated what information staff needed and implemented technical solutions (databases and software) to help them manage the production processes.
Later, I started my own business offering a range of services to support my customers' activities. These services, as diverse as training and desktop publishing, were customised to meet each customer's specific needs and individual requests.
Tamsin: How did Idea Injector come about?
David: Over the years, I have observed how organisations work - what they do right and what they do wrong. I have been privileged to see many businesses grow substantially. Sadly, I have also seen a few businesses fail, most due to problems that could have been avoided or overcome. If those managers had only been brave enough to consider some alternatives, they might still be in business today.
These experiences led me to set up Idea Injector as a way to share my ideas and observations, to help people build successful businesses and non-profit organisations.
Tamsin: Why the name "Idea Injector"?
David: I have an Ideas Bank, a filing cabinet full of ideas that I've come up with over the years but haven't the time or resources to use. Originally I planned to take these ideas and "inject" them into other organisations through sales or collaborative partnerships. The Idea Injector name seemed approriate for that.
I am now publishing many of these ideas on my web site for anyone to use. In fact, much of my recent work has been creating customised ideas and solutions in response to requests from customers.
Tamsin: What sort of ideas do you have?
David: You can find many of my ideas by browsing the Idea Injector web site. Most of my recent ideas relate to what businesses and other organisations do, how they operate and what makes them successful.
Of course, when I work with individual organisations and their particular issues and needs, I will help them come up with ideas that are relevant and customised to what they are trying to achieve.
Tamsin: How do you come up with all these ideas?
David: By asking questions such as "what's going on here?, how does this work?, is there an alternative way?", I can look at things from a new point of view, often differently from how other people see things. This different view leads to new ideas that are sometimes better than how things are currently done. It's partly conscious effort and partly sub-conscious processing. I suppose it's just the natural way my brain works.
Tamsin: Ah! So has your brain been investigated by scientists?
David: I'm not sure I want anybody prodding and poking around in there. However, there are models that relate to the way I think and how I apply my skills to help others.
I quite like the research by Belbin into team roles. My preferences are Plant followed by Monitor/Evaluator. These preferences relate strongly to coming up with ideas and helping to implement them and I specifically offer a "Freelance Plant" service for teams that do not already have that strength.
There is also the Myers Briggs personality test where I am categorised as INTJ type. This describes personality characteristics that are well suited to exploring different ideas and working out how to exploit them successfully.
Tamsin: Thanks, David, for telling us about the way you think and how you use your skills to help your customers.