Think Like a Clown

Mom's clown collection.
Think like a clown: Try a new way

When you get stuck on a problem: Try a new way.

Each year at my kids’ school the Circus camp comes to town.  The Circus performers spend two weeks with the kids during recess teaching them to spin plates on sticks, jump through hoops and perform other circus tricks.

While the camp is not designed to turn the kids into circus performers, one of the comments we received was that my son was “born to be a clown”.  It was a proud day for us.

The purpose of the camp is, in fact, to challenge the kids to get out of their comfort zone, engage them in new activities and try new things.  The kids are encouraged to try different learning strategies, such as: Go slow, step by step, stop and visualize, and my personal favorite try a new way.

This is good advice for adults as well as kids.  How many times in business or in your personal life have you been stuck in a rut, unable to solve a problem or break out of a tough cycle that you are in?  The usual course of action is to work harder, persist until you get it right, or sometimes just give up.  How often do you think to yourself, this isn’t working, I should try a new way?  Unless you attended circus camp, you might not approach the problem this way.

These clowns know something about business as well.  Their motto is: Know the goal, measure progress, and understand when you’ve achieved the goal.  This simple three step approach can be applied when learning to juggle, or increasing your sales in an account.  When tackling any problem or new project make sure you know the goal and what you are trying to achieve, (for example, achieving your sales forecast).  Set up a system to measure your progress towards your goal (regular updates on your sales performance).  And know when you’ve reached your goal (achieved your sales target).

We can all learn a lesson from these circus folks.  So, the next time you are stuck on a business problem, think like a clown and try a new way.