All I Need to Know about Business I Learned from a Duck

Archive for December, 2009

Business Lessons From Elephants

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

When it comes to creating a distinct, competitive advantage in the market place sometimes owners and managers of small and medium-sized businesses are intimidated by the resources available to larger businesses and national conglomerates. What with their huge budgets and their ability to not only access sophisticated methods of marketing research but also tap into mounds of data that can be mined for purchase behaviors and buying trends; how can the small guy possibly compete?

In a word, to beat out the big boys, you have to be more creative then they are (you can’t out spend them so you have to out think them). And after more than 25 years of working in the advertising business where individuals make a living from generating creative ideas, I have determined that the best creative people have developed a system or process that provides them with an ability to see the world from a different perspective than the rest of us; and in so doing they develop truly unique solutions to business and communications challenges.

That was a long lead-in to the crux of my message; however it is important to understand that creating innovative ideas, strategies and tactics requires a departure from traditional linear thinking to smack-on-the-side-of-the-head thinking. Which is another lead-in to the subject of elephants … and the book I just published.

Edward DeBono, world-leading authority in the field of creative thinking, developed a lateral thinking technique where you first fully focus on the problem you’re trying to solve and then inject the idea of something that is far removed from the problem – the further from the subject the better. So as you consider the problem of creating a competitive advantage for your company, watch the video about elephants grieving, below, and remain open to the business lesson inherent in their behavior:

Here’s what I came up with for myself: Grieving is a form of empathy because both emotions require the ability to imagine being in someone else’s position. And because I recently read an article by Bruna Martinuzzi, president and founder of Clarion Enterprises, a company that (more…)