It’s a Sunday afternoon, and a full day of skiing is done: and all the roads home are closed because of the snow. So we’ve settled in for an evening in the chalet with blankets of snow falling outside.
Skiing provides a wonderful metaphor for innovation; it involves taking risk, trying to do things you haven’t done before, and always seeking for improvement. When you ski, you are constantly exploring new territory, examining new methods of doing things, and making discoveries that lead to something unknown. Skiing involves constant skills upgrading; there’s no end of opportunity for new ideas by examining what others are doing on the hill.
The same type of thing you do when you instill an innovative mindset, either on your own or within an organization.
Two years ago, I keynoted an audience of thousands at the Swiss Innovation Forum. In my closing remarks, I linked the innovation theme to skiing — because I was leaving from the event to ski the Swiss Alps. That for me was a huge achievement – because I didn’t know how to ski less than 9 years ago.
I’ve caught that little video clip — it’s a little bit inspirational, and perhaps a little bit hokey, but captures for me, the importance of the link between innovation and skiing.