On a recent trip to northern Laos (Xam Neua – extraordinary place!), I was given access to many things I have never seen before. Some of them scenes one would expect in Laos (the stunning landscape, for example) and some of them experiences that surprised me and made me think – a lot. The latter are the scenes I always look for, be it on my travels or in my work with corporate clients. If a scene stops you, there is clearly a story in there that deserves more attention. The story archaeologist in me can never resist a good search…and Xam Neua served it up. While touring the other-worldly cave networks of that province (highly recommended), I came across a swimming pool (pictured). Swimming pools may not be conversation worthy – until you find out that the pool in question was designed and built out of a bomb crater (as this pool was). A scene and a story, I will never forget! It has all the elements one needs to find in a good story: problem-solving, creative thinking, unique idea(s), surprising, different, thought-provoking, tension, a theme, and, of course, strong emotional connection.
What have you seen recently (anywhere in the world) that, at first glance, may seem “simple” but after a closer look and some questions, you discovered so much more? The time spent with these seemingly simple scenes can truly lead to inspiring, even life-changing experiences! Look for them…especially in your work environment. The results may surprise you.