Creatively Entrepreneurial

with Carl Nordgren

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Being generous = being generative

Carl Nordgren

Creative Populist, Author, Guide

Lessons Learned

The generative way helps an individual to think, look, and act like an experienced entrepreneur.

Success is being in a generous relationship with the marketplace and your employees.

The greatest entrepreneurs are known for responding generously to fragile ideas.


Lesson: Creatively Entrepreneurial with Carl Nordgren

Step #2 Generative: Being generous = being generative

Generative Way is a systematic approach based on both research and experience that helps an individual think, look and act as an experienced entrepreneur, as a successful creative professional immediately. It both guides one's behavior towards an entrepreneurial effort as well as cultivates and grows these qualities within you. I've been working on this for about 13 years now based on my experiences as an entrepreneur. I've worked in a number of the creative industries. It's a flexible system, it's a natural system, and it relies on some organic natural qualities and helps an individual tap into the natural creative forces.

There are four generative behaviors were really an underlying part of the generative way. It was one of the first conceptual frameworks that I began to see as I was teaching. The four generative behaviors begin with being generous. The way I talk to most students about the power of being generous is I would say, “Just imagine, why would the marketplace ever be more generous with the company than the company is with the marketplace? I can't imagine if that would happen. Why would employees ever be more generous with employers than the employer is with the employees?”

And there's this wonderful human quality that exists that says we want to be in balance, that if you treat me generously, I'm very likely to reply, respond with my own generous behavior. And doesn't that sound like success to be in a generous relationship with your employees, to be in a generous relationship with the marketplace? When I started the first cellular telephone company in Raleigh-Durham/Chapel Hill market, we were determined to be generous with our customers to give them the greatest value we possibly could, and in return we wound up with a 60% market share when there was a two-horse race in the early days of cellular.

A wonderful place to practice one's generosity is when a friend or a colleague or an associate comes to you with that most fragile thing of all, which is a brand new creative idea. If you respond when that friend brings that creative idea to you in a generous fashion, if you listen to hear the very best version of that idea, if you try to appreciate the best things of that idea, then isn't it likely that you'll speak that first to your friend? That you'll speak about those qualities that are most positive. Doesn't that result in the idea improving itself?

So if you become known as a person in your community as the one who's going to respond generously to creative ideas, doesn't that mean that that begins to position you as a person where all the new ideas come flowing? Isn't that a great place to be in your life and your organization? So a generous response to creative ideas means that you'll get more creative ideas. That's the first generative behavior, and let me add one last thing to that. I found out many years after I began to preach the importance of being generous that the word "generative" and the word "generous" come from the same Latin root, which is to "produce". So it makes all the sense in the world to me that being generous would be a generative quality, would be a generative energy.

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