How does this happen? After roughly 20 years of trying, I had finally trained myself to smear my body with sunscreen before going outdoors to block those lethal rays that everyone warned would lead to certain skin cancer.
Eighty percent of skin damage from the sun, they've been telling us, happens before age 18. If that's true, then quite candidly, I'm screwed. Beaches in the summer as a youngster, followed by 10 years as a lifeguard in the 1970s (with the notable absence of sunscreen) set the stage for what I'm now assured will inevitably be melanoma.
Then, it happened. I opened the Sunday paper on May 29 and a headline leaped right off the page: "Sunscreen limits body's ability to generate vital Vitamin D." Though no one disputes the dangers of overexposure to the sun, it now appears that underexposure significantly inhibits the human body's ability to generate Vitamin D, one of those chemical "essentials" that cannot be replicated in a pharmaceutical factory.Without it, we risk succumbing to dangerous and deadly ailments like lymphoma and cancers of the prostate, lung and, ironically, the skin. To sum it up: overexposure to the sun can indeed lead to skin cancer, but aggressively blocking the sun's rays puts us at even greater risk of some even more dangerous diseases.
Why have I just dumped all this info into a column for a logistics business magazine? Largely because just days after reading the story, I interviewed Amy Carovillano of The Container Store (this month's DC VELOCITY Thought Leader) and was reminded once again that one of the most dangerous things we can do in business and in life is blindly accept the "conventional wisdom."
Carovillano has a rather unusual background for a logistics VP, having come to the job with a double major in biocHemiätry and microbiology. But that's OK. There's a lot about The Container Store that strays well outside the bounds of conventional practice. For instance:
And what a special culture it is. Named for six years in a row to Fortune magazine's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," The Container Store boasts one of the lowest turnover rates in the logistics field. So what else can we conclude but this? Whether it's about sunscreen or a company culture, a little conventional wisdom can be a very dangerous thing.