If discussing about optimization of processes, or organizations, or businesses would remain focused on the theoretical part or on the technical side, then we’re missing the scope of what we love to do. What really innovate or optimize means? To me it’s about going beyond what we’re trying to achieve in the present. The most innovative idea of the present is no longer innovative when projected in the future: a paradox we would say, and yes it is .. innovation is something impossible to achieve in a finite mindset and can be achieved only in an infinite mindset as the real meaning is continuously improving to do better. The fundamental difference between “best” and “better”: if we go for the best, then we have a finite horizon, if we go for better, then we are building an infinite course and innovation comes.
Having spent long time traveling back and forth from Sri Lanka with the opportunity to live the place, I always came back to Italy with lot of ideas, impressions and expertise gained on the field and not just read somewhere. During this time I gradually stopped reading releases or advices and I rather preferred to touch with hands, this is another reasons why my soul got mixed so much with Sri Lanka, is not a matter to be expert, I’m not, but it’s a matter to know, understand and think about.
When I’m describing something or telling one of my stories about Sri Lanka I rarely speak without a complete excitement and emotion. I believe Sri Lanka is a very beautiful place and generally peaceful, safe and plenty of surprises. I always be a bit concerned by the usual tour operator combination like Maldives + Sri Lanka: I do not see the reason to bring people in the same trip to such different places risking to not satisfying them. Who comes to Sri Lanka should be much more involved in experiencing the Country and its excellences, this is how the heart of Resplendent Island could surface and become a milestone for travelers.
Here we can now link to the optimization (and innovation) concept. As per my opinion the 4 top excellences of Sri Lanka are the Tea, the Food, the Design and the Spice (just the top four … I love so many more things!).
Tea is something related to the history of the British period but finally many people understood we shouldn’t mix politics with traditions and now there are lot of brands trying to do better: better quality, better packaging, better branding. Don’t stop this course and more importantly create synergies to follow that World praying and seeking for higher quality, as the people is getting bored (also if they don’t know yet) of cheap, bad and low-quality products. Shape the future, this is innovation.
Food is an authentic experience in Sri Lanka, going from traditional Sunday Jazz lunch in Colombo, to great dinners inspired by Peter Kuruvita recipes to a tasty rice&curry or kottu on the road. The variety, the colors, the taste and the smell are a treasure well handed down from the past to today. And that’s the point, it has to be preserved and defended by the aggressive expansion of western mass-food. Revisit traditional food eventually to adapt to a healthier diet, this is innovation.
Design is something astonishing: when I tell to friends stories about Bawa, Sansoni, De Silva (and many others), some remain surprised, don’t know for which reasons people thinks design and architecture are a matter of western world only. These architects are innovators so they can be a source of inspiration, shouldn’t be “just” a reason for a quick stop in a shop or to 33rd Lane. Innovation is using innovators spirit to go beyond.
Spices are known to be among the best in the World (and coconut too), hard to do better we may think when we are at best, but we keep remembering the solution is to do better, not to be the best. World and market’s demand is slowly turning into Organic or natural products: focus on that and innovation will be focusing on new agricultural techniques while doing something great for the Country, as pollution will reduce and the Earth will say “thank you”
What said in my previous article (click here) about resilience is strictly linked to it: improving resilience optimizing business and organizations will drive to great results. If we believe in it and trust is on, let’s start.
I would recommend to read “Suicide Club” by Herman Gunaratne: it might be a little tricky on the political side, but if you can extrapolate the contest about the passion, the experience and the competence to grow tea, something well-inspiring will surface quite soon.
If you like instead to read an unbelievable family story joined to mouthwatering recipes, look for “Serendip” by Peter Kuruvita, one of my Bibles in the kitchen.
Look eventually at “The Infinite Game” by Simon Sinek to clarify the difference between finite and infinite mindset.
For who doesn’t know enough about Sri Lanka and interested to learn more, I suggest starting from a virtual tour of the wonderful Island, then worrying about economics and business! Click here for the tour