Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Break With Yourself

I was engaged in a number of conversations over the weekend that made me think. A lot of people have formed a number of prejudices or generalizations about certain companies, verticals or professions.
A few examples, and I am sure you will recognize them:

  • Construction business: they don't respect their deadlines, they never clean up their mess, ...
  • IT Companies: they speak a language nobody understands, and in the end they always blame the other party (hardware vs. software), they always sell you more than you will ever need,...
  • Marketing people: they do the talk, but not the walk, they have to learn to understand the difference between a lead and a business card...
  • Sales: they only serve you if they can make a descent commission on you, lot's of promises ...
  • ...

I am sure you can think of many others..., but what if we would break with these prejudices?
If you want to stand out from the crowd, make sure you get noticed. You will not get noticed if you keep on doing what you have been doing, or everybody else in your segment/vertical/profession is doing. Here is a simple exercise to help you stand out, make a list of:

  • Ask people about the prejudice/generalization they have about your company/segment/profession;
  • Ask people what would make you stand out from the crowd.

Once you have those lists, just make sure you do the opposite of the first list, and see if that matches or exceeds the expectations of the second list. Don't be afraid of being different. Apple is a nice example of a company with a "different"  approach and they proof it works.
Tags: Change, Be Different, Break, Stand Out, Crowd