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Business Darwinism

 “Only the fittest survive”. Darwin’s Origin of Species revolutionized the way people thought of themselves and their world when it was introduced in the 19th century. Darwin maintained that species that adapted to changing environments were successful and those who couldn’t adapt fell by the wayside. These principles are largely accepted within the business community today. Companies that change themselves and their products to meet the demands of changing customer environments survive; the rest don’t.

 Traditionally business has used a number of tools to remain competitive. During economic ice ages they slash staff,  shave overhead, and invest in technology to increase productivity and stay competitive. Produce more with less and sell it cheaper. That was the recipe for success. Today we are facing a situation where all the tried and true solutions no longer are effective. Simply stated most companies have already implemented these “basic” economic strategies and can simply cut, slash or automate any more.


 For a company to prosper in the new century they must come up with innovative solutions to problems in all aspects of their business. As Gary Hamel has noted, companies can “wallow in timidity, or you can realize that the case for radical innovation is stronger than it has ever been, because there are fewer options than there have ever been.” You just can’t grow revenue significantly unless you bring jaw-dropping new products and services to customers. In these suddenly sober times, the inescapable imperative for every organization must be to make innovation an all-the-time, everywhere capability.

 The tools of your salvation are at hand. The real foundation for growth, innovation and profit consists of a company’s intangible assets (its brands, it’s intellectual property that resides in the brains of its employees, its customer relationships). The elements that are not listed on your balance sheet are, in fact, your real capital. Your people are your greatest asset.


Corporate concern with bring out the best in their human resources is often acknowledged without being fostered. Companies whose mantra often includes their commitment to inspire try to do so from the top down. Invariably Boards chose Presidents who have inspired their employees. An organization that is trained to look to the top for clues about where it’s going next is an organization where the vast majority of people have ceded responsibility for business innovation. Ironically innovative ideas never come from the top; they are born in individuals at every level of a company and then, depending on the company’s real attitude towards innovation, they either blossom or die. Every employee has a great idea. Every company president’s job is to nurture it.

 Corporations must build communities of encouragement and a hierarchy that feeds, organizes and rewards ideas. They must also teach employees to be innovative. Innovation is a learned skill. It comes from training the mind to look at old problems in new ways. Simply changing perspective leads to break-through ideas. Alan Kay’s famous aphorism that “perspective is worth 80 IQ points” should be taken seriously. Truly break-through ideas come from challenging the perspectives and dogmas of existing paradyme. Whether it’s Dell questioning the need for dealers to sell its pc’s or the Body Shop questioning the need for impossibly thin supermodels to sell its products – both those companies challenged beliefs that everyone else took for granted. They got out of the “Comfort Zone or, as we call it the “Stupid Zone”.

 This is where we come in. Radical Sabbatical inspires individuals and companies out of the “Stupid Zone” by delivering brand driven customer experiences that engage and transform employee, business and consumer audiences.  We do this by taking your problem and your intangible assets to the “Adventure Zone.” Here inspiration happens because we create inspirational settings.

 The Adventure Zone

Companies have traditionally looked for inspiration in the wrong places: resorts. The last great thought to come out of a resort off-site was the conviction never to do it again. The Adventure Zone takes people to places where conventional thinking simply doesn’t work. Environments that challenge you to learn are the only environments capable to effecting real, long-term change. We believe that fundamental change occurs only when adventure experiences are staged in a truly innovative, unique, creative and holistic way.

 The “Transformation Guiding Process “ starts with identification of, and comprehensive research into, the problem a corporation wishes to correct. We then design and execute an experience that will be correct the problem by transforming your employees. We dazzle their senses, touch their hearts, and stimulate their minds and make it possible for them to solve their own problems. While specific in nature the ultimate benefit for the company is that your employees have been transformed into problem solvers and innovative thinkers…a benefit that reaches far into the future.

 Thinking with your Stomach

 The Adventure Zone teaches people to trust their gut feelings. We’ve found that people get the courage to try new things not because they are convinced to do so by a wealth of analytical evidence but because they feel something viscerally. It’s not that analytics are unimportant. It’s just that until you feel something in your gut, until you’ve experienced it and know it to be true, you simply won’t have the courage to act.

 Embedding the courage to act in a corporate mentality is the first step to the salvation of the bottom line. Corporations who consistently prove innovative have committed their whole company structure to valuing and fostering new ideas. They treat their intangible assets – people and ideas – and their most important product. They are not afraid to take a chance, make mistakes, invest in ideas and challenge the status quo. These are the companies that will prosper in the years ahead.  With your help yours could be one of them.