I think one of the biggest killers of perspective is just spending time in your own environment. Looking sideways, looking wider is difficult sometimes though.
Asking yourself key questions is hard with nothing to compare your work to: How are we doing? How does it compare to what other people are doing? Is this that bad really? Is this that good really?
Getting your head out of the water, out of the sand even is refreshing.
I try to get out of the day-to-day patterns every month by taking some time off and getting out, spend some time away from where I currently am.
Sometimes it is just an hour. Others half a day. On the odd occasion a full day. Whether it is a nip in for a natter, spending time seeing how other orgs do stuff (like design crits, workshops), and occasionally kindly being invited to take part in stuff.
I’ve sort of fallen off this wagon in recent months. But I’ve started up again. This month I’ve dipped into a couple of places and they’ve been great sense checks – and also good stretches of my thinking.
I have an appeal of two halves.
First: If you’re a place doing interesting stuff – and that could be how you go about it as much as what you are doing – I’d love to bob in. Drop me a line. I am open to most things.
Second: If you don’t take this time out yourself, try it. Give it a go.