Tuesday, February 06, 2007

At Gap International's "Breakthrough Intensive"

I spent the last three days at Gap International's "Breakthrough Intensive" course - getting educated.

This class was a "friends and family" edition, and was served the purpose of training and developing Gap's less experienced consultants. As a result, there was a more diverse (and, to my mind, more interesting) group of participants than you would find in a full-priced session targeted at businesspeople. The participants included:

To brutally summarize a very wide-ranging and complex course, we learned how the barriers to personal achievement are obstacles we put in our own way--assumptions, past experiences, prejudices, fears--and to overcome them we need to put ourselves back in the position of a beginner, set the obstacles aside, outline a goal that is meaningful and powerful to ourselves, and commit to achieving it.

It sounds very Tony Robbins, but--believe me--it's much more grounded and substantial than that.

A quote where President Kennedy paraphrased the Irish writer Frank O'Connor touches on some of the points we learned this weekend:
O'Connor wrote how as a boy he and his friends would make their way across the countryside. When they came to an orchard wall that seemed too high and too doubtful to traverse, too difficult to permit their voyage to continue, they took off their hats and tossed them over the wall-and then they had no choice but to follow them.
What does this have to do with innovation, you might ask? Just about everything.

(Picture from vierdrie via stock.xchng)

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