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Persist Like a Zen Mushroom Hunter
From:
Gregg Fraley -- Best Keynotes on Creativity & Innovation Gregg Fraley -- Best Keynotes on Creativity & Innovation
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Chicago , IL
Monday, November 18, 2019

 

Lessons a Forager Can Lend Business

Relax, Stay Hopeful, Keep Looking

I’m a mushroom hunter. I wander the woods foraging, especially in the fall season. Southwest Michigan has a lot of edible varieties but there is one particular delicacy I love. It’s called a Hen-of-the-Woods. It’s a unique shape, something like a cauliflower, and about that size or larger. Very safe — not one of those “eat once” mushrooms. They are not rare exactly, but one can wander for miles and not find one, even in season. They hide under a brownish leaf-like surface.
I have a lesson here for business people. Let me start with this story.IMG-1476
Know that “Hens” are simply delicious. A hearty, meaty, solid texture, with a mild nutty flavor, so satisfying to eat. In the mushroom hunting community finding one is literally party time.
This fall didn’t bring me one, in spite of several long assiduous walks in the woods. I found other mushroom varieties, and am grateful, but not my favorite.  It was disappointing. Eating Hen is an anticipated fall ritual. When the snow fell early last week and we had our first hard frost, I thought, well, maybe next year. I mentally wrote off more long hunting walks, but, the thought of a tasty Hen still lingered in my mind.

Keep An Eye Out — Even When The Season is Over

Yesterday, in a brief respite from the cold, I was out raking leaves in my yard. I wasn’t hunting fungi, but, I have that mushroom hunters eye. I’m always looking. I found a Hen a few years ago looking out my car window. Fungi are camouflaged — you can look right at one and not see it. Mushroom hunting is a Zen activity.
So, I’m relaxed, doing my raking. And in the corner of my eye, almost unconsciously, I notice a shape, and feel a mild wave of hope flush over me. I pay attention and look more closely. Under a dying Maple tree, partially hidden by melting snow, was a large Hen. The tips were quite brown, the surface frozen. At first glance I thought it was spoiled. I took out my pocketknife and cut out a small section to have a look inside. Perfect fresh stalks. The snow and freeze had actually preserved a late fall bloomer.
Last nights dinner was a true feast. Hen-of-the-Woods, sautéed with garlic, ginger, butter, salt, pepper, and a generous handful of Argula. I served my miracle Hen over Yukon potatoes, complimented with a sturdy Malbec. My fall Hen dinner ritual — a delightful surprise party this year.3F789E4F-EADD-41DB-9276-C59F1F46A84D

Innovation Message, Keep Seeking Insight

Here’s the business point: We often give up when victory seems impossible. Keep looking, stay hopeful, persevere. Even a project that is dead-in-the-water can be revived with a fresh insight and subsequent action. Entrepreneurs and innovators, develop a Zen eye for insights. Insights happen when we let go of past beliefs and are open ourselves to new learning. If a project is frustrating you, let go, relax. But keep a Zen eye out — a breakthrough can be right around the corner — even when the season seems past.
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Gregg Fraley is the inventor and developer of MoshPit InnovationMomentum Team Effectiveness Training, and co-inventor of KILN’s IdeaKeg. He’s the CEO of Gregg Fraley Innovation (GFi) and the author of business novel, Jack’s Notebook. His Innovation Facilitation training courses provide cutting edge tools and techniques, including unique proprietary tools. Gregg is a keynote speaker on the topics of innovation, creativity, and story. He’s spoken to audiences around the world, including: NASA, TEDxStormont (Ireland), ESOMAR, Cambridge, UCal Berkeley, Bosch, APDF (Association of Professional Design Firms) and others. A professional member of the National Speakers Association (NSA) and a Visiting Innovation Scholar at the University of Notre Dame.
 
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