#Mobile Entrepreneur – Problem Solving Tips from Spain
I learned 5 solid problem solving tips from the artist Salvador Dalí when I visited the Dalí Museum in Figueres, Spain. Dalí was a master at seeing what was before him both in its entirety and as a sum of its many parts. This is what I most knew Dalí for – taking apart his subjects and placing the head, eyeballs, mouth, and chin all over his canvas — anywhere, it seemed, other than where those pieces would normally go. (For a quick look at some of Dalí's work you can click here).
While Dalí is famous for his deconstructed works, he also was a master at “old style” paintings and could emulate works by the other painters of his time so well that you can't tell the difference. His own early paintings look like Old Masters, almost photographic in their placement of tiny objects, shadows, and light. He also was a master jeweler – look here to see his astounding pieces in gold and jewels.
Dalí had an uncanny ability to take apart what he was looking at, dissembling the familiar and placing the pieces in new and unfamiliar ways, making the viewer consider the scene or the person in a totally new way.
On the train back to Barcelona from the Dalí museum I suddenly realized that really great entrepreneurs do the exact same thing. We take a problem others have and we literally pull it apart, find the pieces, and help the client (or customer) see the problem in an entirely new light. We put solutions together in new ways, perhaps in a different sequence. We solve problems or make enhancements for our clients by seeing the pieces of the situation, just as Dalí saw a scene in its individual parts.
Sometimes, like Dalí, what we propose looks preposterous to the client. In that case we have to educate her, help her stretch her vision and consider what she has not considered before. Sometimes, rearranging the parts gives our client a big “aha” and she immediately sees the benefit.
The “Dalí approach” gives us problem solving tips we can use for our own business or for our clients.
- Back away from the problem and walk around it in your mind's eye to give yourself a different perspective.
- Be willing to consider the new things you see, even if you feel like they won't work, or if what you see scares you.
- Try taking apart the pieces of the problem to see if one part yields a new idea or an answer.
- Arrange and re-arrange the pieces of your problem in different ways. Eventually, something will strike you that seems possible.
- Change your working environment and the method of your approach. If it's a money issue, for instance, focus on more sales rather than cost reductions (or vice versa). Take the exact opposite tack and see what happens.
The more we are able to change our environment and to discern the various pieces of what we are working on the better we are able to come up with fresh, useful solutions. The solution you “paint” may look disjointed, just like Dalí's later works did, but the new juxtaposition may be exactly what will work.
I help women entrepreneurs take apart the pieces of their business and rearrange them for more visibility, publicity, clients, and income. If you need help with that, let's talk. You can click this link to e-mail me. We'll set up a time to meet by phone.
By the way, I believe strongly that as entrepreneurs we need to get outside our normal routine frequently. Hit the beach, go on a trip, get together with other women for networking and support. If you believe that, too, please leave your name and e-mail address on my website (form on the right side) and I'll let you know the next time I gather a group to do that.