It’s pissing down. It feels like winter. In June.
We don’t want weather like this. We don’t like or expect it.
But it stands out. We notice.
We’re not good at standing out. We’re taught to stand in. School teaches standing in. Work reinforces standing in. We are monkeys in the troop. We want to look the same, sound the same. Let me be on the right side, not the outside, of the crowd.
Whilst safe, it’s generic. It means certain behaviours are repeated over and over, for good or bad. It makes us invisible.
Like most of the companies we work for. They’re invisible too. They follow a well trodden line. They speak well used words. They look and feel the same.
Is invisible your strategy too?
We’ve forgotten we are people.
We are excited by different things. We like sun and rain and clouds and clear skies and jokes and swimming and running and dancing. We are the sum of many different qualities and skills. We are creative. We are musical. We are hopeful. We are committed. We are analytical. We are agressive. We are accommodating. We are many things. We are diverse and different and exactly the same.
Why is it then that most businesses talk to each other in exactly the same way?
They forget we are more than analytical. They forget we work best when we’re excited or angry or disappointed or scared.
The opportunities for our companies are two fold.
Start talking to whole colourful spectrum of our personality. Sure, you’ll turn some people off but you’ll turn others very much on.
You need to unlearn standing in to discover standing out. That is where real value is.
And it’s bigger than that too.
Fast forward 30 years.
Will companies still only be talking to the same limited values and perspectives?
I don’t think so.
Whilst its easy, the world is changing. Old patterns of behaviour are being challenged. New models are sprouting. Nothing grows for ever. Not a tree, person, economy. Or even a Panda.
In 1984 Apple shocked the world by positioning it’s products in a head space diametrically opposed to its competition. It talked about beauty and fashion and difference. They talked to the heart, while everyone else talked to the head.
Today the same opportunity exists (not to sell more computers, but more generally). Success will be found by stepping back into many forgotten qualities which make us who we are. Like gratitude and appreciation and hopefulness and positivity.
Fast forward 30, 40 and 50 years and these will be dominant qualities. These will be the opportunities for growth.
This is good news.
Because we need it. Our planet needs it. Our economies need it.
There is rich opportunity in these old ideas.
It’s time to mine them.
What characteristics can you talk to which everyone else doesn’t?