In the book Winnie the Pooh, the characters are preparing for a trip to the North Pole when Pooh encounters Rabbit and asks: “Hello Rabbit, is that you?” Rabbit replies: “Let’s pretend it isn’t and see what happens.”

More than A. A. Milne’s wit, I love the textbook example of Rabbit’s right brain thinking which makes him look at things a little differently. Whereas the left brain is used for process, science and tactics, the right brain is creative, chaotic and challenges the status quo.

As retailers and business people, you need the correct balance of left and right brain thinking. Data, for example, is an essential tool for growing. But when you look at numbers you’re looking at the past, which can make it difficult to predict a future that’s any different to what you currently have.

Whereas the left side of the brain looks at what you do, the right side asks why you do it.  Apple goes back to this ‘why’ for every product. Just think of Steve Jobs’ “1,000 songs in your pocket” back in 2001. So imagine you are working with Apple’s creative team to design your new store, with a blank piece of paper and no baggage. What do you think it would look like?

Imagine you are working with Apple’s creative team to design your new store, with a blank piece of paper and no baggage

It could well be something like James Brundle’s foodie emporium, the venue for last Thursday’s launch of the 2015 Independent Achievers Academy. The burger bar, mix of branded and local goods, leather jacket uniforms, hundreds of beers and massive wine casks wouldn’t show in any data reports, but he is pushing the boundaries and it’s exciting.

While it is far fetched to rip up your business model and start over, a great start would be to take a fresh look at everything you do – or plan to begin – and ask yourself “does this actually add value for my customers?”