Why Magic—Yes, Magic—Is A Brilliant Business Tool

Professional magician Dan Trommater shares how sleight of hand can help you with the crucial task of challenging your assumptions

Written by Deborah Aarts

This week’s BusinessCast podcast is about how magic can benefit your business. Yes, you heard us right: magic.

At least, that’s what Dan Trommater believes. A Toronto-based magician, sleight-of-hand expert and entertainer, Trommater spends half his time speaking to and training business leaders at corporate events. And his job isn’t just to wow you with nifty tricks.

“My work is entertaining, but it’s not entertainment,” explains Trommater. “It’s being used as a tool to challenge people’s assumptions. And, boy, what’s better at that than magic? Magic is all about the impossible: ‘I know this isn’t possible, but then I just saw this guy do it, so what do I think is impossible in my business? Maybe I can find a way to do that.’”

Trommater cites one example of his work in practice. One of his favourite tricks is to ask someone in the audience to give him a $100 bill. He then asks the person who comes forward to sign her name. He folds the bill up in his hands, and it disappears. On a nearby table is a red box; Trommater asks the participant to open it. Inside that box is a lemon. He asks her to cut open the lemon, and inside it is that $100 bill—complete with her name written on it.

“A CEO saw me do that trick,” Trommater recalls. “He said, ‘That thing with the lemon is amazing, but I know how you did it.’ I said, ‘Really?’ He went on to tell me his very detailed idea of how I did the trick. I said, ‘That’s a good theory. Are you sure?’ He said, ‘Of course, I’m sure. It’s the only explanation for how you could have done it.’

“And I looked at him and said, ‘In the past 12 years, I’ve used at least 12 methods for that trick, 12 techniques for accomplishing the same feat.’ When I told him that, it was as if I’d hit him across the head with a two-by-four. It was as if his brain had exploded with the possibility that there could be more than one answer. He said, ‘If that’s true, if I was convinced that I had the only answer and you’re telling me there are other ways, then I need to go back to the office and look at everything in our organization that I know we have the one right answer for. I need to question that.’”

It’s those kinds of revelations, Trommater feels, that make magic so powerful as a business tool.

Listen to this week’s BusinessCast podcast for more on how the work of Trommater and his fellow magicians might benefit your operation.

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Originally appeared on PROFITguide.com