Innovation on a Stick


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Greetings.  It’s the start of the weekend and a fun time to think about food and all of the delicious things that one might bring to a picnic.  It’s also fun to think about all of the remarkable innovations that are occurring in the world of cuisine.  At the heart of much of this innovation is the simple notion of fusion–i.e., the bringing together of ideas and inspiration from two or more different cuisines to create new and unique food offerings.  Complete with their own special flavors, smells, looks, textures, and even experiences.  It’s actually a great metaphor for what’s possible in our companies and organizations when we strive to bring together a fusion of people and perspectives in order to solve problems and seize opportunities.

But let’s stick with the food theme today, or more specifically the concept of food on a stick.  Now many of you are probably thinking about Dove ice cream bars, popsicles, and marshmellows toasting on an open fire.  But sticks are even more central to the history of food around the globe.  First, they’ve been used on every continent to kill, cook, and eat food for thousands of years, dating back to some of our most adorable and well-groomed cave-dwelling and game-hunting ancestors. They used spears (i.e., large sticks) to capture their food, and other sticks to roast and serve it.  And many fishing cultures also used sticks fashioned into harpoons to catch and cook creatures from the sea.  One might even imagine that the earliest vegetarians used sticks to grill their food once they had wrestled it to the ground. And through the ages sticks have evolved to be an important part of many cuisines and recipes.  Think of satays in Indonesia and other parts of southeast Asia, kabobs in the Middle East, skewered beef in Brazil and Argentina, fondue in Switzerland, corn dogs at the county fair, and so on.  

But now comes the latest and possibly most remarkable food innovation on a thin piece of wood.  You guessed it, cheesecake on a stick!  Now that’s a remarkable idea.  The creation of mini-cheesecakes that can be eaten without the need for a utensil other than the stick at the center of the creamy bite of near perfection.  It’s obviously an act of real genius which begs the question:  ”How did civilization as we know it ever survive without them?”  Yet I’d never seen or tasted this gastronomic wonder until a recent wedding reception for the son and daughter-in-law of close friends.

So take a few moments to think about the way that something like a stick could revolutionize your business.  What idea from another era in human history, or another industry or culture, could make you even more delectable to those you have the privilege to serve?

We win in business and in life when we mix things up to create new foods and new ways of doing things.  Maybe it’s time to make “fusion” an essential word in your vocabulary.  If not, you might be left alone in your small corner of the world.

Cheers and have a tasty weekend ahead!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Alan Gregerman
Alan Gregerman is an award-winning author, consultant and keynote speaker who has been called "one of the most original thinkers in business today" and "the Robin Williams of business consulting." His work focuses on helping companies and organizations to unlock the genius in all of their people in order to deliver the most compelling value to their customers.


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