Greetings. Innovation often means putting things together that don't belong. Or, more accurately, that didn't belong until someone decided that it made sense to put them together. In fact, the most successful businesses and entrepreneurs are regularly putting things together that didn't belong in order to create greater value for the customers they serve.
It's a simple idea…and essential to the success of your company or organization. Take something that you know very well and then combine it with the wisdom or best practices of someone else–in your industry, or another industry or in a totally different walk of life or corner of the world.
And while I'm always thinking about things in this light, I was struck today by the simple genius of one of my favorite lunch treats–an eggplant parmesan sandwich. A marvel of casual dining that is also a cardiologist's best friend…which makes it a slightly perverse "Win/Win" proposition. Lightly breaded eggplant smothered in a tangy marinera sauce and zesty parmesan cheese, then wrapped in a toasted submarine roll that itself has absolutely no nutritional value. But that's okay given the amazing health properties of the other ingredients…because we all know that tomatoes are loaded with antioxidants, eggplant is close to being the very heart of the Italian food pyramid, and cheese is essential to life as we know it–or at least to the lives of twelve-year-old boys. And packaged in a perfect styrofoam throne (just kidding). It's a veritable landslide of deliciousness invented when someone decided to combine eggplant parmesan–a southern Italian specialty invented in the 1700's–with a sub sandwich–an American creation that traces it's origin to Maine, or Boston or New York City in year 1900, or 1910 or 1915.
Mamma Mia! Now that's a magnificent lunch!
But the real brilliance of the eggplant parmesan sub is it's ability to makes us think about our winning combinations and how we might choose to match our very best know-how with the brilliance of others.
To create a winning combination by putting things together that didn't belong.
And a great way to start is by making a list of the companies and ideas you admire most then imagining how they might bring new energy and greater possibilities to your products, services and solutions.
We win in business and in life when we put things together that didn't belong. And when we view success as a fusion of possibilities.