I’m showing my age here by bringing up Noel Edmond’s Multi-coloured Swap Shop but it was a bit of a Saturday morning institution when I was a kid (I still have the scarf in a box somewhere). I soon swapped to the more entertainingly anarchic Tiswas when it finally went national but that doesn’t work as a link into today’s idea of the day.
The Guardian today announced their National Book Swap. As a voracious reader I love this idea. It’s really easy to get stuck in a rut with your reading. I go through phases of only reading non-fiction (currently reading Bill Bryson’s At Home). Then only historical novels (Wolff Hall was excellent). Then it’s all about Sci-Fi for a while. (Neal Stephenson’s Anathem the best I’ve read this year).
The idea of coming upon a book you’ve never read before or swapping books with someone (see Bookcrossing) who has a very different taste in genre is really appealing to me. It broadens your horizons. A bit like the browsing idea from earlier in the week I suppose.
Anyway, it’s prompted the idea of swapping work instead of books. Get someone from another team to take a look at what you’re working on. Especially if you’ve found yourself at an impasse. A dispassionate alternative view is often just what you need to unlock the problem.