Home > For the sailors: Hone your innovation skills > May the (lateral) force be with us

May the (lateral) force be with us

In its simplest form, the status quo can be represented as two forces of the same magnitude applied in opposite directions. They compensate each other, such that nothing move.

Then imagine a small lateral force being applied that tilts the two opposite forces from their axis. All of a sudden, the equilibrium (or status quo) is disrupted and movement starts.

What’s more, the two formerly opposite forces now literally join forces (at least partly) to add to the momentum created: what used to create status quo now accelerates the movement.

Here is a simple example:

Bill is a maths teacher. He works full time for a decent salary. His passion though is sailing. He sails during his holidays, but that can only be a few weeks per year. On the one hand he’d like to have more time for it, but on the other hand he needs to earn money. So he continues to work as a full-time maths teacher and to sail during the holidays: status quo. Until someone asks him how he could combine his teaching and sailing skills into a job and make a living. Only a small question. But as a lateral force it is enough to turn Bill’s head in a different direction, disrupt the balance, and all of a sudden turn teaching and sailing from opposite to complementary. A year later, Bill moves to the coast and starts his sailing school, giving private tuition in maths in the evening to complement his revenue.

Can you come up with more examples?

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