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The Basics Of How To Run A Successful Business - Immersion

Updated on July 31, 2010

Creative people can be crazy, child-like, fantastic and come right back and be serious, rational, analytical and evaluating. They can unbind their minds and return immediately to work in a structured manner.

Almost all of this is psychologically beaten out of us by the time we reach puberty… adults believe they should know answers to everything. Once we lose our capacity to be surprised, however, we begin to take it for granted and stop noticing possibilities.

Focus Or Immersion In The Subject

One of the striking characteristics of creative people is their willingness to totally immerse themselves in their subject, ignoring distractions while solving problems. The circus juggler, after many years of practice, coordinates many movements simultaneously while interacting with an audience.

Almost always, when someone makes a seemingly accidental major discovery, the individual has sat inside the subject matter for years. King Camp Gillette, a part-time inventor, was a salesman of beverage bottles, but had an itch to invent something very successful. One day a fellow salesman told him he should invent something that when used once we would throw it away, therefore, Gillette would always have a market for this product. Gillette liked this idea and tried to come up with that disposable product. He went through all the letters of the alphabet several times listing human needs and activities for a link. In 1899, he had his insight while shaving; everything came to him in a matter of seconds after years of thinking. Gillette's first version of the disposable razor was not too different from what many men use today, but it took Gillette years to overcome tremendous negativity. Many experts, including MIT staff, told him it was impossible to produce a strip of steel to last one or two shaves. In 1904, the first disposable razor was finally produced and sold.

Part of subject immersion is a matter of concentration. This is not easy today, when we are constantly stimulated by tending a business, thinking about staff scheduling, and talking with a colleague. Subject immersion further implies a love of subject. Creative individuals generally become so fascinated by their subject it takes on the quality of a love relationship.

Preference For Disorder

Creative people have a tendency towards disorder, but not necessarily towards messiness and definitely not chaos. One of the prototype creative people is someone who is a harebrained, messy inventor: disorder in the workspace can actually interfere with creativity.

But the creative person definitely prefers disorder in design. At Berkley, a fascinating correlation was noted between graduate students who were rated as being highly creative and their preferences for disorderly, chaotic and irregular figures, as compared to the preference of graduate students who were rated closer to the average for designs that were geometric, neat, and clean.

Disorder means " turbulence of the passions and discomposure of the mind," so it's not just messiness. These definitions are fully aligned with creativity to a far greater degree than the more pedestrian usage of disorder. This is why there is confusion between mess and creativity, and why so many people hide behind their personal mess as an excuse for their creativity. Many fields demand precision and order if anything is to be accomplished and this is the case with business. The creative business person uses the apparent disorder of the unconscious or the irrational to find meaning, vision and creation, while also working in an orderly environment.

A recent survey of Fortune 500 executives by an East Coast recruitment firm, ranked creativity more important than intelligence for success in business today. We don't have a lot of time to become champion creative minds, but anyone can foster the ability to let his or her minds roam free and become unbound. Few environments demand the practical application of creativity more than modern business, and probably no better environment to become inspired by displays of creativity than interacting with your staff and customers. Use it to your benefit!

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