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Creative maladjustment

Creative maladjustment

The phrase “creatively maladjusted” struck me, as powerful encouragement for entrepreneurs, innovators, and business pioneers, all who are driven to make the present state better, to adjust what is, into what can be.

MLK talked about it from a preacher’s human perspective – “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted”. I would also argue that your and my business success (and by extension the continued economic super power status of the U.S.) lies in our hands, lies in our ability to swim hard upstream. Pioneering and building new businesses, sharpening an existing one to better compete, requires dissatisfaction with the status quo, the creativity and courage to change.

Business lore abounds with stories about creatively maladjusted change agents. Steve Jobs? Got fired from his own company, before returning with “iEverything” products. Ingvar Kamprad (the I and K in IKEA, a kind of Swedish Sam Walton)? Ridiculed before becoming the world’s only internationally successful specialty retailer (some $30 billion in sales from stores in 26 countries). My neighbor with that marvelously expensive Mercedes Convertible? He upgraded his hot dog stand into a chain of brats and beer bars at a time when food wasn't fast.

Are you “creatively maladjusted”? What in your business (or career) are you dissatisfied about, and what are you open to change? Do you have (or know people who can help you with) creativity to consider new perspectives, courage and willpower to implement them? What will explode your business? We’re taught to fit in, but we will only succeed if willing to stand out. 

I love helping retailers and top suppliers to build new businesses and sharpen existing ones to better compete. When you do what you love you become very good at it. I have learned my craft and found my vocation learning with other "creatively maladjusted" mentors, entrepreneurs and visionaries who, as Churchill said, believe that “kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.”


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