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How Successful Entrepreneurs Turn Surprising Connections Into Business Strategy

Entrepreneurs innovate by drawing connections between things that haven’t been linked before. But how can you go about making such connections? In this episode, business coaches Dan Sullivan and Shannon Waller explain Dan’s latest breakthrough thinking tool, The Triple Play.

Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:

  • How creativity is a method you can master.
  • How you can tell whether an activity is creative.
  • What types of connections get people excited.
  • Why Dan preferred to make his own toys as a child.

Show Notes:

We don’t discover connections; we make connections.

Creativity is connecting things where you didn’t see the connection before.

Not many people are creative enough to build an independent career in the marketplace.

You’re not really creative if you’re not surprising yourself.

Your brain can’t ignore a question.

Children play according to a method of connecting things that don’t belong together.

People's directed usefulness is achieved at the cost of creativity.

Imaginative thinkers make more money than people who are uniform and predictable.

Creating connections is how our brains get used to the world.


Capitalism—And Everything Else by Dan Sullivan

Your Life As A Strategy Circle by Dan Sullivan

Unique Ability®

Visual Thinking by Dr. Temple Grandin

Episode Transcript:
Shannon Waller: Hi, Shannon Waller here and welcome to Inside Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan. Dan, today we're going to talk about your new favorite tool, the latest evolution out of a long and illustrious history of amazing thinking tools that you have created, called The Triple Play.
Dan Sullivan: Mm-hmm.
Shannon Waller: And there are a few aspects of this which are kind of, I want to say magical because it causes when I do it, me to connect things that were not connecting in my brain before that. So let's dive into, let's talk about what The Triple Play is. We'll talk about how it works, why it works, because again, it's pretty cool. I love it. So Dan, what is The Triple Play?
Dan Sullivan: First of all, it's a tool that surprised me when I got the picture in my mind. So, I think in diagrams, so I've got a sort of a graphic mind. So, I see arrows and stars and circles. With the tools, what I'm seeing with the diagram is the progression in which you think through something. And this one really caught me by surprise because I wasn't working on something else and the tool popped out. But what had happened is that I got almost the complete diagram in my mind about three weeks before I actually sketched it out, and it kept coming back to me, this diagram. So as I've developed it, it was in a simpler form when I first developed it, but you can take any three factors in your business and you can take any three of them. It works if they're somehow related, it works if they're not related, they can be three completely different things.