THE ONE IDEA THAT CHANGES THE WORLD: 246,5m – the skijump world record held by Johan Remen Evensen and soon we will probably also reach 250m  as the jumps keeps getting bigger. But let`s travel 27 years back in time; the year is 1987, and the “skijump-clown” enters the arena. Back then the records were held by Piotr Fijas and Matti Nykänen with 194m, in fact it should take another 7 years to reach the 200m mark. Now, some 25 years later, we will soon pass beyond the 250m-mark. The rapid change all began with a guy named Jan Boklöv out of Koskullskulle, part of GällivareSweden and his ONE DISRUPTIVE IDEA. After debuting in 1986 with a mediocre performance he came back and won the Worldcup in skijumping in1989/90 and took the sport of skijumping to a new level.

And here is what he did:


THE V-STYLE; by 1990 ALL Skijumpers were doing the V-Style, but it took two more years before the judges and the organizations would catch up and stop punishing the jumpers for their aesthetics (I don´t blame them though, the old B/W 90m jumps were just awesome). Jan Boklöv is not the only one to change history within sports, a similar story is known under the name of “fosbury flop“ invented and first performed by Dick Fosbury, whose gold medal in the 1968 Summer Olympics brought it to the world’s attention, being a revolution for the high jump where the goal basically is to move the butt away from the bar – kind of obvious isn`t It, that the “Fosbury-way” makes sense instead of jumping over the bar facing forward?  Another example is the cross country skiing style of “ice skating” invented by Bill Koch now known as the freestyle cross-country skiing technique. In 1982 he was crowned the cross-country skiing overall World Cup champion with his new style, later forcing the sport to establish a new category.

So how Jan Boklöv are you ? And what can companies; leaders and entrepreneurs learn from Jan Boklöv and that one idea that changes the world.

First of all, even If you do have some success, you need to question everything you are doing and maybe also believe in. Is this risky? Hell-Yeah, but don`t settle for mediocrity  –  to quote Oscar Wilde: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best” – So settle only for the best and go after your one idea that lights up and changes the world.

But how Jan are you really?

▪   Would you be willing to give up everything you have achieved for one new IDEA that you are burning for, even If you are having (some kind of) success?

▪   Would you be willing to fight against media, take bad press for being different, and gain critics for messing with the “rules” and maybe even going against the opinion of your friends and family?

▪   Would you be willing to handle missed goals or failing over and over again and still keep believing in your one big thing?

▪   Would you be willing to put the fast money on hold or to postpone short term success or completely aim for something bigger?

..If you do, chances are good you will be up for something special. Most great achievers faced these challenges along their way but always resisted giving up. So do like Jan, turn your mindset upside-down and inside out and then again rethink everything you believe is right (even though V-Style might have been a mistake, it lead to success).

BTW neither Jan Boklöv, Dick Fosbury nor Bill Koch broke the world record… but they sure broke some unwritten rules, I am sure some kind of luck or mistakes were also in place  leading to their achievements, but to quote and admired management thinker, Tom Peters: “If you try a lot of things, one might work!”

Go after the TRY,

Anders