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The Basics Of How To Run A Successful Business - Tolerance

Updated on July 31, 2010

The creative person judges and evaluates after the idea is generated, so the idea flow is not interrupted. This characteristic enables consideration of other related ideas. Research is convincing on this score. When people are asked to produce ideas, without regard to the quality of the ideas, they produce more ideas. They also create a greater number of high-quality ideas, when compared to those who are asked to produce only high-quality ideas. In the early phases of problem solving, creative minds consider any and all ideas when exploring possibilities. As the problem gets closer to a solution, the creative person is willing to judge and even change initial ideas or approaches. This is where critical thinking comes into play.

Ask your team to agree not to attack any idea until all ideas have been presented. The first solutions that pop into mind are often mediocre solutions, but persistence produces better solutions. Observe yourself closely when someone produces a new idea, as you may realize you begin to argue before the idea has been completely presented. It's very easy to say, "We can't do that. It's never been done that way before." If businesses were awarded a dollar every time that has been said, every company in America would be fully funded.

Tolerance Of Ambiguity

Part of the willingness to tolerate ambiguity is also a willingness to accept uncertainty. Creativity is an ability to see all sides of the question at once. Practice viewing customers' points of view, your staff's attitudes, and government requirements simultaneously. Creative ideas are sure to step on someone's feet.

Some find uncertainty an intolerable condition, and grasp at anything concrete to remedy their anxiety. They may even think of themselves as "people of action" compared to the person who is willing to live with messy, unresolved problems or complex answers. When you work on something new, you work in a void, an abyss, where you may not even know what you are looking for or whether it even exists. Your whole universe may seem unstable.

Flexibility & Imagination

Flexibility is the ability to move easily from one idea or solution to the next. The inventor of Post It notes, a major product of the 3-M corporation, was originally disappointed with glue that would not permanently stick. It took imagination to realize the enormous possibilities of such a find. Flexibility is the ability to play with ideas, create outrageous hypothesis, and play the "What if...?" game, expressing the ridiculous, and seeing similarities in widely disparate things. Flexible imagination is the ability to imagine a situation not yet experienced, and to be able to picture something not yet seen… literally, make it up. When designing a perfect business, don't worry about how to get there, create a "What if the world were perfect and all things possible," model for a company, then work backwards to see how you can get there.

Flexibility also involves kind of a child-like wonderment; children are continually surprised, puzzled and in wonder of the world: this is what makes them so creative.

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

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