Last month, my wife and I took a trip to Iceland. Over the past few years Iceland has become a popular vacation destination, but it hasn’t always been that way…

Because of the curvature of the earth, many people fly over Iceland on the way to Europe, but up until recent years—they never stopped to visit. In the year 2000, the annual number of visitors was 300k (a number just shy of the entire country’s population). But this year, Iceland’s tourism is set to exceed 2 million visitors.


The boom is tourism is attributed to a combination of things. Iceland Air markets Iceland as a stopover between the U.S. and Europe, where you get to stop for 1-7 days for free—essentially letting you pay for one plane ticket but have two vacations. Appealing, right?

The other (and probably more significant) reason is linked to something completely different.

Back in 2010 (when annual tourists were 500,000), Eyjafjallajokull erupted, creating an ash cloud that caused massive disruption to air travel to Europe—and suddenly, reporters flocked there to get the story. After the air started to clear, the reporters needed other news to share.

The reporters starting to fan the country, and we started hearing about this beautiful place built on volcanic rock, inhabited by people with unique heritage, diets and cultures. (After visiting myself, I can say that is was, in fact, beautiful).

As an off-shoot of a natural phenomenon—Iceland’s tourism industry catapulted.

My point?

Welcome the natural phenomena.

Be open to discovery.

Embrace the unique interests and talents that your team members bring to the table.

Find ways to capitalize on unanticipated events.

And look at disruption as an opportunity to innovate.

If you need a partner who can bring this perspective to the table, let’s talk.