The Sweet Taste of Innovation

In Touch - Newsletter - #21

Welcome to the twenty-first edition of "In Touch." As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit "reply" and let me know what you think.

Story of the Week: The Sweet Taste of Innovation

My associate, Sophia, attended an Economics class as part of her MBA course. Recently, she told me about one particular class exercise which has stayed in her memory. The Professor asked the students to imagine a country whose borders were closed and where the movement of goods and people was restricted. To make things worse, the country’s economy was suffering due to a shortage of certain goods. He then paused before asking his students, "What do you think would happen if this scenario was played out in reality?". 

The students were a mixture of nationalities, from the countries of the former Soviet bloc, the West and Asia, but they were unanimous in their view that a situation such as the one described would lead to social unrest and possibly war. "You are wrong", the Professor told them. "Isolation might eventually bring about a degree social unrest but it would be preceded by a period of innovation.”

Nowadays, we tend to think of innovation as a by-product of technological advancements but innovation occurs when boundaries and constraints stimulate creative thinking. Take, for example, plastic. When the EU imposed a ban on single-use plastic items, a huge number of innovative ideas arose for the creation of replacements. 

Only the other day, I was delighted to see that such ideas are already being implemented in Cyprus: I went to Papafilipou Ice Cream and discovered that they have now replaced their plastic cups and spoons with edible ones. This not only makes the already pleasing experience of eating ice cream even more enjoyable for customers but less harmful to the environment too. 

Boundaries and constraints may be annoying but, in many instances, they wake up our creative ability and help us improve the world around us. In Cyprus, they can even make ice cream taste more delicious!

Words of Wisdom

On cultivating resourcefulness at a young age:

"We’d rather have a kid with nine fingers than a kid with ten fingers and no resourcefulness at all." Both MacKenzie and Jeff were letting their four kids play with sharp knives at four years of age and power tools soon after.

Jeff Bezos & MacKenzie Scott (former wife of Jeff Bezos)

A Question to Ponder, dear friend.

“Which was the defining moment in your life that 'forced' you to become more resourceful?”

Hit reply and let me know.


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