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The Basics Of How To Run A Successful Business - Creativity

Updated on July 31, 2010

Ask champion athletes to name the one quality that makes them successful, and they will tell you that is impossible. Athletic skill consists of a number of characteristics: flexibility, speed, availability of experienced trainers, equipment, and plenty of opportunity to train. If athletes are weak in one area, they can compensate with strength in another area. The same is true for creativity. Creative traits include flexibility, spontaneity, originality, imagination, and resourcefulness. Creativity also depends on personal motivation, availability of good teachers, support from the environment and the opportunity to practice being creative.

If you physically train over a period of time, you will no doubt get better. You may never be as good as someone like Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan, but you will get better at whatever sport you undertake. Again, the same is true for creativity. While most of us will never reach the capacity of an Einstein or Picasso, we can get better at applying creativity to our business by practicing on a daily basis.

In business, it is easy to get locked into old ways of thinking. This includes using outdated technology that does not take advantage of modern information processing or photocopying budgets from year to year, rather than being creative to meet new demands. Businesses that are suffering financially force staff to scrape by rather than apply creativity to discover new and more efficient models of doing business.

Unbind Your Thinking

About a thousand years ago, a dancer who performed for the Emperor's Court had a good idea. She bound her big toes in the shape of a crescent moon. It is told that the Emperor Li commented favorably on this unique fashion. Soon, due to this top-level endorsement, it became a fad. As with many fads, the turned-up toe was pushed to its limit and having a crippled foot was absolutely required by any 13th Century (Ming Dynasty) woman who took herself seriously. Natural-footed women were considered ridiculous; a woman's desirability for marriage depended on the size of her feet. During the marriage procession, the bridal feet extended beyond curtains for everyone to see. If large, everyone laughed and ridiculed the bride, and the entire family lost face. As the saying went, "If you care for a son, you don't go easy on his studies; if you care for a daughter, you don't go easy on her foot binding." Over an 800 year period, perhaps a billion Chinese women had their feet bound, which entailed breaking of several bones in the foot and binding them tightly for a lifetime, all aiming for the desirable three-inch model of foot.

It is easy to condemn the Chinese for what seems like barbaric behavior, but it is important to remember, in this same time frame European and American women were binding their waists with tiny corsets to a desired 18 inches, certainly more damaging to their health, as their internal organs were being crushed. And today, like the Chinese women of old, we do the same thing, not with our feet, but with our minds.

Continued in The Basics Of How To Run A Successful Business - Idea Fluency

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