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The Art of Business

June 27, 2012 by

GMAT BlogWhen Richard Branson talks about business we all listen.  At an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion, the life of the serial entrepreneur and corporate business mega-mind is a success story we’d all like to have a little of.

Business Insider has a series of short little posts it calls Instant MBA.  The posts are interesting tidbits from measurably successful business people and business academics.  In a recent one, Sir Richard likens building a business to painting a picture.  I have always thought my undergraduate fine arts degree served me well during my MBA education and my professional business endeavors afterward.  Now I have been validated by Virgin’s captain.  Yes!

The simile is well-taken: a masterpiece is not created by slapping any old paint onto any old canvas with any old tool you’ve got lying around.  Rather, a masterpiece is born from training, practice, planning, and intentional execution.  In creating a successful company, one must engender similar vision, similar attention to detail, similar intent.

The inception and initial construction of a piece of art and a company can be interestingly compared.  What makes adventures in business different from adventures in art, however, is that a business is a continuously moving and morphing picture, unlike the painting, which is created and then left for another.  In business, the entrepreneur must become the manager—the artist must also be the gallery owner.

An attribute of successful people is the ability to make disparate connections in order to create a deeper, more comprehensive, more colorful understanding of things immaterial and material.  Take the words of Britain’s mogul to heart—appreciate the art of business.


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