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SAP’s Signature Napkin Series #1: Legendary golfer Gary Player

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Following is a blog authored by SAP as a responsive musing on the napkin’s theme:

The concept of the ‘napkin idea’ is nothing new. It refers to the moment when a flash of inspiration is scribbled down on a seemingly average piece of absorbent paper and is transformed into something extraordinary.

Whether this is a few ideas and sketches jotted down during an impromptu brainstorming session, or the characters and plot for a future bestseller, (JK Rowling famously wrote her first ideas for Harry Potter on a train napkin), there’s something about having the freedom of a blank canvas that inspires innovation.

/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/g1_590971.jpgWe asked some key, influential figures in the business world to share some of the strategies and ideas that they believe are crucial to developing and running a business. This time we take a look at a couple of the key concepts of Gary Player’s Ten Commandments of Life.

One of the common themes throughout his commandments is that of persistence. Persistence is a key part of developing and running a business. New business owners are often surprised by how long everything takes, from the growth of a new product to making a deal, it’s not enough to just have the raw intelligence and the business know-how. ‘Good leaders must remain focused on what lays ahead in order to foresee potential obstacles and adjust accordingly’. Determination enables you to focus on the long-term goal while dealing with minor stresses along the way.

Using your gut, or relying on your instincts, is often talked about in the business world. About 50% of all business decisions are made on instinct alone. Often referred to as ‘the power of not thinking’ it goes against the traditional ideas that we are surrounded by, that the more time and effort we put into something, the better the outcome will be.

But basing a decision on a gut feeling is not the equivalent of making a reckless guess; instincts are still based on experience and knowledge. ‘some of the best ideas in business come in a wonderful, inexplicable flashes of insight’. Often, someone will have a strong gut feeling about something but feel reluctant to admit this; instead they collect data to back this feeling up so that they are able to present it as a logical, fact-based decision.


There’s no doubt that these commandments can be applied to anything you want to succeed in, not just in a business capacity. Hard work and determination, knowing when to take advice and trusting your instincts are all valuable traits. As is making sure you always have a pen and a clean napkin available.



At SAP we are on a quest of innovation to deliver the smartest and best solutions for our customers. Therefore we invite you to visit our Business Innovation webpage:

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