Unlocking the Benefits of Doing the Unexpected in Business

A great of example of doing the unexpected, in his legendary book Change, psychologist Paul Watzlawick tells the story of Margaret, the Countess of Tyrol, a remarkable woman – fearless and formidable. Having been cheated out of her inheritance claims to Carinthia upon her father’s death in 1335, she set an example for all who seek true power. Undaunted by the opposition she courageously led her army in battle to siege Hochosterwitz Castle in Austria.  

Doing the unexpected Countess of Tyrol

Perched on a 172-meter high dolomite rock, Hochesterwitz castle in Carinthia is considered one of Austria’s most impressive medieval castles, with a 620-meter-long pathway and 14 gates to reach it. Within days, Margaret and her formidable army had successfully surrounded the castle, cutting off all its supplies and victory was imminent.

The inhabitants of the castle were powerless. Food supplies were running low and it would only be a matter of time before they would be forced to surrender. In one last vain attempt to save them, the commander decided to try something completely unexpected, he ordered his men to cup open their last oxen and stuff it with all the remaining corn they had, and then fling it over the walls at the troops below. Imagine the dismay of his troops, when he instructed them to send the last bit of food they had in over the walls. They did as he instructed and then waited.

This brave feat completely foiled the opposition below, who believed that if the inhabitants had so much surplus food they could throw some of it away, they would be able to ward off an attack for a lengthy period. The Countess’s armies were already restless and hungry themselves, seeing the ox they gave up and ended the siege. The commander’s decision proved to be an absolute stroke of genius.

In the world of business, it can be easy to get stuck in a rut of mundane and predictable tasks and behaviours. While these tasks are often necessary, there are great advantages to taking a risk and doing something unexpected. Whether you’re an established business looking for new opportunities or a startup searching for an edge, doing the unexpected can help drive success. Let’s explore what these advantages are and how they can be used to create a successful business strategy.

The Value of Doing the Unexpected in Business – Why it Matters

In business, rather than relying on tried and true methods, doing something unexpected can provide a competitive advantage. The risk of experimentation can pay dividends when it comes to successfully reaching customers in new ways or developing innovative products that nobody has seen before. Consumers appreciate originality and creativity, so businesses should take the initiative to reach beyond their comfort zones to stand out against their competitors.

Staying up-to-date on trends and making calculated risks are essential components of a successful business strategy – after all, it’s these efforts that differentiate businesses and excite customers to purchase products or services. Doing the unexpected isn’t only exciting for owners and Entrepreneurs – it’s also an appealing trait for potential employees who want to grow professionally by having an opportunity to contribute fresh ideas. With a bit of courage, luck, and calculated risk-taking, businesses have the chance for success with each venture into something unfamiliar and untested!

Risk Taking as Problem-Solving

Doing something unexpected often involves taking risks, but this doesn’t mean that those risks should be taken blindly. Instead, strategic risk-taking can be used as a form of problem-solving. By stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new, you may find solutions to existing problems in your business or come up with innovative ideas that could propel your company forward. Additionally, taking risks demonstrates confidence in yourself and your abilities, which is an important characteristic for any successful businessperson.

Taking risks is an important part of business, but some risks can be higher than others. When it comes to making bold decisions for the future, it’s often helpful to look to other successful companies that have made those same decisions and learned from them. This way, companies aren’t starting from scratch and can use the knowledge and research from those who have gone before them. Studying successes in the industry can help reveal trends and potential benefits for taking a risk as well as key pitfalls to avoid. Learning from other successful companies isn’t just an educational exercise either – when done correctly, you can gain a valuable competitive edge over your peers!

Embrace the Possibility of Failure and Take Calculated Risks

It’s sometimes difficult to take risks, especially when the possibility of failure exists. However, embracing the possibility of failure and taking calculated risks can be truly liberating. Taking these risks allows us to try something new, explore options that may have never come up otherwise, reevaluate our goals and ambitions, and gain confidence in our ability to face any outcome that comes our way. And at the end of it all, whether we succeed or fail, there’s nothing wrong with learning from our experiences and moving on to the next challenge!

Gaining Attention

In today’s crowded marketplaces, businesses need to stand out from the competition if they want to succeed. Doing something unexpected is one way of gaining attention from both customers and prospects alike. For example, launching an innovative product or coming up with creative marketing campaigns can draw people in and make them take notice of what you have to offer. This increased visibility is essential for any business looking to reach a wider audience.

Make Small Changes and Monitor Results

Making small changes in response to feedback or data can be a powerful tool in helping your business progress. Starting with a few small changes and closely monitoring what happens can give invaluable insight into how your business responds, allowing you to make even greater progress with larger changes in the future. Make sure you are measuring what matters and that different activities don’t confuse your results – the only way to track performance accurately is to make sure all variables remain constant. Change can be scary, but it doesn’t need to be. Start small and see how far your business can go!


Doing something unexpected offers many potential benefits for businesses large and small alike. By taking smart risks and being creative with your strategies, you can stand out from competitors while also solving existing problems or creating new opportunities within your industry. It may not always be easy – but it will almost certainly pay off! So don’t be afraid to think outside the box; do the unexpected today!

Cultivate a Culture of Innovation & Creativity

Author of Ideas Like Shoes