”A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” - Oliver Wendell Holmes
A few weeks ago I was invited to facilitate a Novo Nordisk innovation workshop featuring Master students, so I had a small trip to Aarhus, a city up north in Denmark where the workshop took place. It is always nice to have an excuse to travel, especially when the travel is part of my job where business gets combined with pleasure :)
It took me 3 hours of train ride from Copenhagen to Aarhus. On the way the train crossed the Great Belt bridge, the world’s 3rd longest bridge; passed by the famous Danish writer H.C. Andersen’s hometown Odense; a picturesque town called Vejle by the Vejle Fjord; and endless farmland still in lovely color of green. Denmark is such a country, despite being so modern and wealthy, that people still find tranquillity and harmony easily.
The topic of the workshop was to create an innovative solution to address problems of market access for insulin products in Indonesia. Given the uniqueness of the Indonesian societal culture and the status quo of the country’s healthcare system, student groups there engaged themselves in dynamic discussions. I was fortunate to be there and to help precipitate a potentially implementable solution after a few hours of discussion. What was even better was the solution had elements built in to ensure compliance of business ethics. In the end, I was amazed at how many thoughts a half-day workshop could provoke – How to generate lots of ideas? Where does creativity come from and how to nurture it (if possible)? How to do a prep work ‘sufficient enough’ that enables creation of innovative yet feasible solutions to a problem?
I felt lucky for having helped out at the workshop. I honestly think this is an attraction point of the Novo Nordisk graduate program. By being part of the program, one gets the opportunity to be involved in different activities outside (conventional) work, which in turn will inspire him/her to strive for excellence both personally and professionally.