I’m very interested in the importance of fiction to the startup world and the world of business at large – mainly how it can positively influence the behaviour of business.
Coming Soon: Fiction Publication
Todd Hannula 🤓
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Fiction’s Contribution to the World of Business

One of the most important skills any business leader can have is the ability to solve problems in a creative way. Of course, every business solves problems, but it’s the ability to look at a problem and find a unique way to solve it that makes a business stand out from the rest.

The 2 Most Important Skills Fiction Can Develop

Reading and writing fiction can help you to develop these skills because fiction writing is all about problem solving and lateral thinking.

Solving Story Problems

For example, when you have a character that is trying to survive while a maniacal killer is chasing after him, and the character finds himself locked into a dark room with nothing but a corpse lying on a table, and the killer is pounding on the door, you’ll have to exercise some serious problem-solving skills to figure out a plausible and yet unpredictable way to get the character out of the situation you’ve written him into.

Solving Problems Through Lateral Thinking

In addition to simple problem-solving, with fiction you have to learn how to exercise lateral thinking because if you solve a problem in the most direct way and the way most people would solve it, then you end up with a story that’s predictable and not that interesting. With lateral thinking, you approach a problem by questioning the assumptions you bring to the problem and try to find an indirect and creative way to solve it. Often, this unique way of solving the problem seems blatantly obvious once you rid yourself of the assumptions you bring to the problem. Lateral thinking is a new way to see, and it opens your eyes to approach problem-solving.

The Skills You Exercise While Reading

Reading fiction helps you to develop these skills because, as a reader, you’re invested in the story, and your mind is always working and trying to guess what will happen next. You’re naturally exercising problem-solving and lateral thinking skills when you read fiction.

Being More than a Passive Observer Through Writing

Writing helps you to develop these skills even more because you’re not just a person going along for the ride; you’re designing the journey. When you write fiction, every decision your characters make and every situation you put them in are opportunities to question the way a reader would predict the story going next. Then you can find a more indirect and creative way to solve your story’s problems.

Problem-solving and lateral thinking are invaluable skills in the business world, and not enough people engage in reading/writing fiction to develop these skills.

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Tom Farr is a blogger, storyteller, and screenwriter who teaches English Language Arts to high school students. He loves creating and spending time with his wife and three children. He blogs regularly about writing and storytelling at The Whisper Project.

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