For a very long time, prevailing science taught us that the tongue could sense four distinct tastes; salt, sweet, bitter, and sour. Prevailing experiential wisdom, however, knew there was more — there was some other flavor that was “deliciousness”, that was different than the known four. Auguste Escoffier and Kikunae Ikeda both explored this additional taste — Escoffier in the kitchen, and Ikeda in the lab. In 2000, after thousands of years of science telling us otherwise, the presence of an additional taste receptor on our tongues was proven — and a new taste was named — umami.
Individual discoveries can challenge our known world and change it in ways that we can’t even imagine today. As an individual, and as an organization, we need to always be aware of what has been newly discovered, understand that it is changing our lives, evaluate in what way, and be ready to act on opportunities that arise from the discoveries.
You will need to decide if you will be an early adopter, or if you will wait until the change has transitioned from “bleeding edge” to “leading edge”, or to standard practice. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to embrace change resulting from new discoveries, but go into it with your eyes open after having given some thought to whether or not the change fits your organizational culture and strategic direction.