• 5241 Finchley Lane
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia
  • 23455
  • (757) 636-1775

Lessons of Innovation: The Fable of "The Ant and the Grasshopper"

Posted by Thomas Edwards on October 25, 2020 6:00 PM EDT
Thomas  Edwards photo

Building on our last blog of the fable of the boiling frog and lessons it may have for innovation, there are additional lessons.... 

...to be found in the fable of "The and the Grasshopper".

As most people recall, the popular fable of The Ant and the Grasshopper provides simple but meaningful life lessons for the value of preparation, persistence, focus and hard work versus the human nature of postponing important actions.  This simple fable reminds readers that it is better to stick to one's best course of action, work hard and be ready for "winter".....or in organizational parlance, predictable, difficult and disruptive times ahead.  As the story goes, the ant is dilligent and keeps preparing for the onset of winter by finding food crumbs and putting them away.  The grasshopper, on the other hand, spends his time relaxing, playing music and waiting until the last minute to do what is necessary to survive the predictable winter ahead.  As disruption goes, there is a suprise in the offing for the grasshopper when winter's ferocity and timing becomes adverse.

For the innovator, there are a number of key lessons and applicable wisdom from this age-old but still relevant fable.  Here are some that come to my mind:

1.  Adverse conditions will come your way, prepare for the worst and work ahead of the urgent need that will inevitably arrive.

2. Sometime breakthrough innovations come from doing the same things over and over, but changing the routine just a little bit.

3. Prepare for tougher times when times are at their best.

4.  Innovation is importand and hard work, requires focus and should not be put off until it is too late.

5.  There is a time to rest and a time to play...staying on track in the trek for innovative solutions requires constancy of purpose.

There are no comments

Sign in to add your comment.

Recent Posts

"The Third Way": A Retrospective on Applied Innovation
From my last blog post, it may not be clear why I have put the spotlight on one of the key decisions...
read more
Revisiting "The Third Way".....Don't Skip the Important Decision 1
In the fourth quarter 0f 2018 we continued our focus of exploring classic theories of innovation and...
read more
Five Points of the Innovation "S.T.A.R"
Over the years, through reading and hands-on observation, it has become clear to me that being an...
read more
Principles of Success in Applied Innovation
There have been many successful efforts in applying innovation to vexing socio-economic...
read more
MLK's Dream Lives On
For many it is hard to seer the progress of the last five+ decades, given the civil unrest and the...
read more
Can Collective Impact Projects Reduce Substance Abuse in Local Communities Adversely Affected by the Opioid Crisis?
In every region and every community in the land, substance abuse from alcohol and drugs is creating...
read more
Five Points of the Innovation "S.T.A.R"
Over the years, through reading and hands-on observation, it has become clear that being an...
read more
Five Innovation Resolutions for 2021
Our small group of bloggers who focus on soci-economic application of innovation concepts, have...
read more
Christmas and Santa Claus: The Season and Symbol for Hope
As children, many of us grew up during a time of prosperity and and giving "things" to others seemed...
read more
Thanksgiving Day and Birthdays
For many of us there are many holidays that mean something to us. Some are celebrated from...
read more

Go to blog