They may not be able to reach the boardroom table yet, but taking advice from kids can yield great results for your business. Budge Studios, a company that provides entertaining apps for children, started to incorporate kids into their product development last year. Not surprisingly, kids were able to contribute great insights that Noemie Dupuy, CEO of Budge Studios, says have been invaluable to improving the company’s product offerings. But you don’t have to have a product geared towards kids to be able to reap the benefits of including little minds in your creative process. Dupuy shared some of her insights from her experience.
Unlike adults, kids can be brutally honest and don’t feel guilty about telling you that they don’t like something. “In a meeting environment, there are politics in a company, but with kids this doesn’t exist,” says Dupuy. Kids are able to be completely honest with their feedback and don’t worry about hurting someone’s feelings or saying the right thing to avoid getting fired. This unbiased feedback was critical for Budge Studios. “It changed our company completely,” says Dupuy. “Everyone in the company loves it because it’s not a guessing game anymore. The truth is out with the kids.”
Although the Budge Studios team is made up of highly creative minds, as adults, that creativity is often tempered by the restrictions of their work environment. Kids, on the other hand, don’t think at all about the career ramifications of coming up with an off-the-wall idea. Kids’ ideas are often so simple that the Budge Studios team wonders why they didn’t think of it. The answer is often because as adults, we’re always trying to think about the next big thing, putting immense pressure on ourselves to come up with something brilliant, while kids are able to break things down to their simplest parts and aren’t worried about their reputation. Sometimes the best solutions are the easiest ones.
Have you ever been peppered with questions from a 5-year-old? “Why is the grass green? Why do cows eat grass and horses eat hay?” Kids are always challenging the status quo, asking that sometimes annoying “why.” This is simply because their young minds are more willing to explore and learn new things. Hanging around kids for a while can have you questioning the very basic assumptions you make in your business and result in some career-altering changes.
Intuition, also called our sixth sense, is heightened in children. Intuition provides guidance in decision making and aids us in problem solving, but too often, an adult’s intuition is derailed because of fear of judgment from others or looking foolish if we make a mistake. Suppressing our intuition is what leads to reduced self-esteem, self-doubt, or confusion when making a decision. Young children who don’t have these same restraints are easily able to use their intuitive powers to come up with solutions to the problems that plague us as adults.
As adults, we’ve been conditioned to be more serious, especially in a workplace environment. But kids are able to have just as much fun on a playground as in an office visit. “Kids love to laugh,” says Dupuy. When Budge Studios’ apps are tested by adults, the process is very technical and serious, but when kids test it, laughter flows from the room. “The way they test apps is completely different,” says Dupuy. Bringing that childish exuberance and love of life to work with you can not only make work more enjoyable, but may also help you discover the next big thing.