A young entrepreneur with a start up came to me recently to discuss how he could improve and grow his business. Like many other start-up entrepreneurs, he had been struggling to come up with new ideas and new approaches to solving problems and challenges in improving his value proposition to potential customers.
We spoke about many areas of his business, his customers and the market for about two hours. When we finished we had drawn up a brief checklist of actions he needed to follow up.
The session discussing this start-up owner’s business was not always smooth sailing because often we disagreed on approaches and solutions. But because of the urgency needed to come up with better options we kept the session in a spirit of “agree to disagree” and moved on to the next item of discussion.
The thing is that a start-up owners and founders often sit up late nights and into the early hours of the morning trying to solve their problems on their own. Sometimes these late-night sessions only result in more left-brained thinking.
The logical, abstract, and precise way of thinking doesn’t always work in coming up with better options. Often by just sharing their problem with someone else who thinks differently, you can achieve “clash” of ideas that spark even better ones.
The right-brained thinking process is often one that makes some people feel uncomfortable. This is so especially for those people who have worked in so-called left-brained professions crunching numbers, dealing with legal matters and precise processes – just to name a few, for example. The right-brained way of thinking is more intuitive, spontaneous, whole-brained and generative.
All of these are qualities that are often not admired or sought after in the giant hierarchical and monolithic corporations where people are afraid to talk about ideas that are different or even radically different from the status quo.
Entrepreneurs, who need to come up with new and different approaches to solving existing problems and challenges, seem to have an affinity with right-brained or lateral thinking. They are able to break out from existing patterns, linear thought and a plodding approach to problem solving by using their more free-flowing and associative creative side and listening to their intuition (but remember intuition can be unreliable; be careful to do research before you just rely on intuition whatever the new age gurus preach).
It’s not the only quality that entrepreneurs have, of course, but combined with calculated and realistic risk-taking once their idea has been identified and developed and perhaps even tested through a pilot or trial in the market, are more in tune with alternative ways of doing things.
Taking time to discuss your problems and challenges with people outside of your marketplace or industry or even an experienced and trusted business adviser, can give you the opportunity to come up with new approaches far quicker and better ones than if you rely solely on your own thinking capabilities.
If you are hungry for new ideas, better solutions and more effective ways to start and grow a business, then go here for new ways to break out of your present dead end thinking.