A good friend recently paid me a huge compliment when he gave me the book, Wise Beyond Your Field: How Creative Leaders Out 9780985530525_p0_v2_s260x420Innovate to Out Perform, by Nancy K. Napier and “The Gang.” The compliment was that my friend thought I already exemplified many of the approaches in the book.

The “gang” referenced above includes a very interesting and diverse set of successful leaders from different fields, including the Ada County (Boise, Idaho) Sheriff’s Office, the Boise State University football program, advertising firm Drake Cooper, Healthwise, The Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the Trey McIntyre Project, and WhiteCloud Analytics.

Each of these organizations, says the book, “epitomizes the qualities of outstanding creative learning organizations: constant curiosity, non-defensiveness about examining their success and mistakes, relentless attention to building and preserving strong cultures, and a disciplined approach toward creativity and innovation.”

I have written previously about the concept of “multilingual” parking professionals, which is a term I use to mean those who appreciate that parking and transportation are disciplines that naturally have a broad range of connections to many other fields. The modern parking professional must be conversant in the languages of economic development, urban planning and design, transportation demand management (TDM), technology, communications, marketing and branding, engineering, maintenance, and security, among other areas.

It is our responsibility as parking professionals to continue to broaden our perspectives by becoming well versed in these other “languages” so we can then educate our colleagues in other fields of the value of including parking professionals in their work.

As our industry has grown and evolved, the influx of new talent from a wide range of other fields has infused our workplaces with a great base of professional diversity. A strong foundation of technological advancement and innovation is transforming our industry in ways that would have been hard to imagine even a decade ago.

I encourage you to check out this short, but inspiring book. Then, take someone from another field to lunch and see if you don’t come away with some fresh ideas that might lead to an enhanced perspective or even a new approach that will enhance your program’s performance.