Greetings.  Do you ever wonder why it makes so much sense to stretch past your comfort zone?  To search for new ideas and inspiration in new places–beyond the confines of your industry or area of expertise?  Let's start with a few facts that will give you a better sense of the hidden power of a world of possibilities:

  • Seven continents
  • 270 nations
  • Over 180,000 islands
  • 6,800,000,000 people
  • 300,000 cities
  • More than 2,000,000 communities
  • Roughly 1.5 million species
  • 1.0 million new patent applications each year
  • Millions of stories
  • 100,000 years of ideas and innovations
  • Insights on any topic imaginable

And the key to unlocking all of this genius is a sense of curiosity and openness to the possibility that someone (or something) else in some other place might know something that could really matter to you, your world, and the value you provide to customers.  So why not learn about, and celebrate, the genius of a new place every month.  Just like the "International Days" we all participated in as kids in school. But in our case, why not try to figure out what other places know that might cause us to rethink an important aspect of our own businesses or organizations.  It's a simple way to broaden your understanding, reach, and prospects for success.

So next time you're in the market for a fresh perspective, think about geography.  And try to imagine how other people, places, and cultures might be able to spark your genius and the genius of your colleagues.  Then spin the globe, pick a spot, and commit to learning the greatest lessons of the folks who live there. Lessons that might take you out beyond your comfort zone and closer to your full potential.  From a paper manufacturer in India, a monk in Cambodia, a merchant in Venice, a poet in Senegal, a human resource manager in Argentina, or a young entrepreneur just around the corner.

We win in business and in life when we decide to stretch well beyond our small corner of the world and, in doing so, discover new ideas that bring our own best thinking to life.