business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Michael Sansolo

The difference between what’s impossible versus what is merely difficult often can be breached by force of will.  But new technologies can help.

This morning, I have two extremely different examples that illustrate how impossible dreams can be turned into reachable stars, which should help us all think about what we actually can achieve.

Example one comes from the trucking industry, which, as is widely known, is suffering from a massive shortage of drivers and has been for a while. However, as the New York Times recently reported, a simple step toward filling that gap seems largely out of reach due to industry-wide training practices that exclude the single largest demographic in the United States: that is, women.

The problem is simply that the industry largely requires trainers to be the same gender as trainees, which is a significant problem because there aren’t many women drivers or trainers already. The article explains there are some good reasons for that rule, especially that training takes place in cramped spaces, that many truckers sleep in their cabs and therefore that the potential for sexual harassment looms large.

But it would seem that an industry in such desperate need of a solution would find a way to alleviate those issues. As the Times article reports, some suggestions include better training of the trainers to avoid harassment issues and even supplying motel rooms for long-haul training sessions.  For an industry in crisis, you'd think that the price of a hotel room would be a small price to pay to address one of its major challenges.

The solution is there, but will be impossible without some new and creative thinking.

Contrast that with a stunning solution to a problem most of us probably never knew existed - how to help hearing impaired or deaf people enjoy the opera. Incredibly, that problem is getting solved.

The Chicago Lyric Opera has just started a new experiment with high-tech shirts that can help even a deaf person experience and enjoy the rich musical tapestry that is opera.

By utilizing this technology, the Lyric Opera is opening its events to an entirely new population. And the uses for this kind of technology won’t stop there. Gallaudet University, one of the nation’s premier schools for the hearing impaired, just started using a 5G-supported football helmet that allows coaches a new way of communicating plays to the on-field quarterback.

These very different examples demonstrate that problems only seem impossible until we think outside the box either by using new technology in the case of the opera or simply taking a new approach, as we can hope with trucking companies. 

The Content Guy used this quote from Star Trek's Jean-Luc Picard yesterday, but it bears repeating because it is absolutely true:

“Things are only impossible until they're not.”

Michael Sansolo can be reached via email at

His book, “THE BIG PICTURE:  Essential Business Lessons From The Movies,” co-authored with Kevin Coupe, is available here.

And, his book "Business Rules!" is available from Amazon here.

For information about hiring Michael to speak at your next meeting or conference, click here.