Cleaning offices isn't a distinctive talent for me; it's a chore from beginning to end. Yet, as you learned this week, it's necessary right now.

Among my files was a notebook from a Statistical Process Control training class my first weeks on the job. Inside the notebook was a section on conducting brainstorming along with handwritten notes from the class.

I don't remember learning brainstorming in grad school, and we didn't have training at my first job, so this had to be my first formal exposure to brainstorming. There in the notes are the familiar admonitions I use all the time: listen intently to all participants, capture what they're saying in the words they use, encourage and reinforce all comments, don't judge prematurely. Everything's there for getting innovation started.

While the class (and some of the great people I met there) is as clear in my mind as if it happened yesterday, this specific topic isn't even a vague memory. Back then, it was something my boss was making me go to. In retrospect, it was life altering day.

The moral - you never know.

You never know which days will change your life. So never write off any day as a throw-away. Go into each one with a sense of wonder. Look for who you may meet or what you might learn that will fundamentally shape the rest of what you'll ever do. - Mike Brown