By letting imaginations reign, challenging conventional wisdom and thinking in a counterintuitive manner, businesses can be market driving, deliver lifestyle enrichment and repeat infatuations of consumers. Let’s continue to explore the power of unconventional thinking via the ever-green example of the Trojan Horse.
In the eleventh and twelfth centuries BC, one of the great epic wars of ancient times was fought. The Greeks assembled a massive flotilla of warships and brought its might against the city of Troy. Their mission was to take back Helen, the outrageously abducted Greek queen, and to punish the Trojans for the fiendish act. But the city had formidable defenses, and the two armies remained deadlocked. There they stood, shield to shield, lance to lance, neither able to budge the other. The siege went on like this for ten fruitless years.
Then the Greeks had an idea that changed everything. The Greek army pretended to dissolve camp and sail away. They left behind a large wooden horse, which the Trojans mistook as a token of peace. They dragged it inside the city walls and began to celebrate. Little did they suspect that under the cover of night a handful of enemy soldiers hiding inside the statue would emerge to pry open the city’s gates for the rest of the Greek army, which had circled back in full force. Once inside, the Greeks won the battle quickly and decisively against the utterly surprised and unprepared Trojans.
Were the Greeks cheaters? Or did they simply overstep taken-for-granted assumptions of warfare? By changing the rules of conduct and expanding the boundaries of engagement — much like David did against Goliath — the Greeks defied conventional wisdom and achieved one of the most famous victories in history. In the process, the Trojan horse ended the conflict swiftly, minimizing the cost of victory in terms of effort, time, and number of lives lost on both sides.
For more such inspiring stories, have a look at my book Slingshot: Re-Imagine Your Business, Re-Imagine Your Life.
[Original image from Slingshot.]