A Squash and a Squeeze: Unexpected Business Lessons from a Children’s Book 

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Who knew a charming picture book about an overcrowded cottage could hold valuable insights for the business world? Nestled between the playful rhymes and adorable illustrations of Julia Donaldson’s “A Squash and a Squeeze” lie powerful lessons about resourcefulness, collaboration, and innovation. Let’s take a look beyond the bedtime story and see what valuable takeaways entrepreneurs can glean from this heartwarming tale. 

See how having a new perspective can bring business benefits. 

1. Embracing Limitations: The little old lady lives in a tiny house, seemingly limiting her growth. In business, limitations are inevitable – budget constraints, market saturation, or even physical space. But just like the old lady doesn’t despair, we can learn to think creatively within constraints. Look at how she utilises every inch of her house, even the roof! This teaches us to be resourceful, to find unconventional solutions, and to maximize existing resources. 

2. The Power of Collaboration: One by one, the animals arrive, each facing their own limitations. But together, they create a harmonious solution – a vertical community. This highlights the synergy achieved through collaboration. Businesses can form strategic partnerships, leverage diverse skillsets, and share resources to overcome individual limitations and achieve greater success. 

3. Adaptability and Innovation: As more animals join, the old lady readily adapts her living situation. She builds extensions, invents contraptions, and even utilises the animals’ unique abilities. This exemplifies the importance of adaptability and innovation in business. Be open to change, embrace new technologies, and constantly find ways to improve and evolve to stay ahead of the curve. 

4. Building a Strong Team: Each animal brings a valuable skill to the table – the pig’s strength, the goat’s agility, the bird’s flight. This reflects the importance of building a strong team with diverse skillsets and perspectives. By valuing individual strengths and fostering collaboration, businesses can create a well-rounded and resilient team capable of tackling any challenge. 

5. Gaining a new perspective: In the end, the old lady realises that the house she thought was too small for her was, in fact, the perfect size and she doesn’t need to move. Had she not accepted the old man’s advice and invited the animals in, she would not have learned this valuable lesson and saved on the cost of moving. This emphasises the importance of having your own ‘Trusted Advisor’ in business, whether that is an individual or an external advisory firm, to bring an external perspective and illustrate business benefits of doing something (or not). 

So, the next time you read “A Squash and a Squeeze,” remember, it’s not just a bedtime story, it’s a hidden treasure trove of business wisdom waiting to be discovered. 

Author Openside Group

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