Reread the Problem to Thrive in Business

Imitation has been acknowledged as the highest form of flattery and has grown bound to admiration towards a role model but little have we heard about how it favors the imitators. Fretful and disoriented we breathe through our days, ceaselessly seeking a point of reference. Whichever our goals, to be successful, loved, envied or looked up on, we borrow pieces of influencers' auras and create patch works that we wear under our clothes.

Our uniqueness is no longer -- and may have never been -- an innate mark of distinction that is wrapped around our presence. It is rather a matter of creativity. It lies upon our craftiness that is constantly being asked to put together a new building using duplicates of pre existing bricks.

Starting off as children and fighting our ways through adulthood, we adulterate our initiative by looking for paved streets with predictable outcomes. First we observe and then we follow whosever life we find more appealing at that specific moment within our orbit. And there is valid reasoning behind this demeanor.

Last summer I was swimming with some friends in the beautiful Aegean waters when we all decided to climb some rocks and throw ourselves into the water. As my fellow jumpers emerged towards the unknown, I held myself back for a few minutes making sure that no one of them got injured. Selfish, I know, but to be honest I just didn't want to die.


In business, as in life, our survival instincts tend to drain the radical out of our systems. No enterprise wants to sink so we all dive into bibliographies about Do's and Don'ts and we swear by Tryout testimonies to bypass every traceable pebble of uncertainty. With Risk Management being praised upon as a company's most plausible pillar of sustainability, have we really become fail-proof or have we given up on untested waters?

Shaped and formed under identical materials and calculable techniques, are our buildings superstructures or are they simply structures? And is there really profound social evolution due to business creative competition when competitive advantages are satisfied with a win over the predictable?

Where we fail as entrepreneurs and business trendsetters to evolve and to produce, is at our myopic obsession on catering to customer's needs. We spend so many of our fertile hours trying to find new solutions to the same problems. So we consume our creative fuels on repetition and remodeling.

We read studies about how people working long hours tend to grow less productive due to fatigue and exhaustion so we buy them more comfortable chairs and stack the cafeteria with stacks of unhealthy foods to keep them interested, trying to distract them from the source of the problem.

Arianna Huffington was one of the first to introduce nap rooms in literature and in practice, reading the same studies with a more academic approach: that is, focusing on redefining the problem and unearthing new needs to be addressed.

Companies have survived and have even done surprisingly well by crafting new answers to preexisting questions. But by directing their focus on reexamining and reevaluating the problems instead of responding to a fruitful but limited solution famine they will access a crest of creativity, success and potential social reformation.

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