The Art of Re-Imagining Boundaries

Lessons From Zax


Here’s a mental exercise in unconventional thinking. Let your mind wander to the most absurd frontiers of your future strategic options. Then gradually reel them back until they are just within the realm of possible. Finally, think about how to actually accomplish them.


As a comic example of re-imagining boundaries, seizing the absurd, and seeing opportunity where others see limitations, consider the story of a famous Hungarian writer who was living in Paris in the early 1900’s in typical artistic poverty. One day he saw a petition from a wealthy French businessman looking to learn Cantonese. Without speaking a word of Cantonese but able to convincingly fake it, he got the job. In the process, he bravely overstepped his own glaring limitation, which was his inability to speak the very language his client desired to learn.


During two years of intensive tutoring that followed, a complete, made-up language was fabricated by the writer and perfected between the two of them, thereby creating the least spoken tongue in linguistic history. After the second year, confident of having mastered the language, the Frenchman finally left for an extended business trip to China. His arrival and initial conversations there must have been quite interesting.


#unconventionalthinking #strategy #businesstransformation #innovation #disruption


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