Applying Pablo Picasso’s Wisdom to Business Decisions

Pablo Picasso famously said, “Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.” While this sentiment may have been intended for visual artists, it can also be applied to business decisions. There are five core principles that we can learn from Picasso’s words and use to make more informed decisions: reducing friction, moving fast and taking time to develop a clear idea of the problem, understanding customer problems as insight into solutions, deciding with data-informed decisions, and prioritizing “hell yes” tasks over satisfactory ones. Let’s explore how we can implement these ideas in our businesses.

Learning the Rules Like a Pro and Breaking Them Like an Artist

There is much value in learning the rules before attempting to break them. This will help us understand why some strategies work while others fail. Additionally, depending on the situation at hand, there could be consequences if we do not adhere to certain rules or regulations; so it pays to know exactly what we are dealing with first. Once we have taken the time to learn the rules like a pro, then we can begin looking for opportunities where following those same rules may not yield the best results—this is when breaking them like an artist comes into play. We need to ensure that any risks taken are calculated and well thought out before making any changes or course corrections.

Reducing Friction for Positive Effects

Reducing friction should always be top of mind when making decisions. Think about customer experiences — if they are easy and enjoyable with low friction points (such as fewer steps or less paperwork), then customers will come back again and again because they know they can rely on your product or service providing them with a positive experience each time they interact with it. Educating customers on their options through lower friction experiences such as chatbots or videos will help them save time by finding answers quickly instead of searching for information online themselves. Collecting information about customers allows us to personalize their experiences so that we delight them every step of the way rather than another moment of frustration from yet another form they must complete before getting what they want.

Moving Fast & Taking Time in the Beginning

Moving fast does not mean rushing haphazardly towards a solution without giving due consideration and thoughtfulness to the process ahead of us; it means having a clear goal in mind that gets us there faster overall. To do this effectively requires taking time in the beginning stages of development—time spent understanding customer needs and mapping out user stories—so that when it comes time for execution, everything is already planned out systematically versus arbitrarily devising solutions without adequate context or structure. Developing a clear idea of what problem you’re solving means being able to answer questions such as who is affected? Why does this matter? What actions do I take? This brings clarity around both short-term goals as well as long-term benefits associated with those goals which helps prioritize tasks accordingly throughout development cycles or sprints (depending on project size).


The wisdom found in Pablo Picasso’s quote “Learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist” applies just as much today in business decision-making as it did at its inception decades ago among visual artists alike. Following these five core principles—reducing friction for positive effects, moving fast & taking time in beginning stages, data-informed decisions with qualitative insights , understanding customer problems as insight into solutions ,and prioritizing “hell yes” tasks over satisfactory ones —can help ensure success no matter what type of business decision you face next . By following these steps ,project founders ,CEOs ,and other key decision makers can confidently utilize data-driven insights while also relying on intuition along their journey towards achieving extraordinary results .

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