Let Someone Else Solve Your Problems

When we face a difficult business challenge, our first response is usually to look around our own industry to see how other companies like ours have solved it.  This poses two problems.  First, your challenge is often shared by others, but solved by no one.  Second, it limits the solution to whatever your competitors are doing.  Instead, consider looking at how other industries are solving tangentially similar problems.  While HBO and Showtime began as movie channels, they discovered that the key to the future was developing original series like The Sopranos and The Wire.  What other business could apply the same approach?  What industry has the key to meeting your challenge in the solution to a problem they faced?