Be Different

Before acting do you make the effort to seriously consider if you are conforming out of habit or because you have considered the implications? Don’t misunderstand me as there are times when it is to the benefit of you and others to go with the flow. These are times when it contributes to efficiency and really does not need deep thought.

The Danger of the Crowd

“Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform.” – Mark Twain.

Now we know he wasn’t meaning this in all situations, but rather said it as a warning to us to not just impulsively follow the crowd. An extreme example of this is the case of a riot or protest. People get emotionally caught up in the activity and often end up involved in something and are unable to explain why. This was the case for much of the Occupy Wall Street protesters. Many people, when asked what they were protesting, were unable to explain. In other words, they had acted a herd of animals.

Now, for our purposes in this post I am not concerned with something as extreme as a riot or protest. However, in business we often find ourselves going with the crowd. A competitor may add a product or service and we assume we must do the same. While it may be the thing to do, there is a good chance it is not. Your niche may slightly differ from you competitor. Another possibility is that as you study the changes of a competitor you may identify a way you can offer something even better.

Why Be Different?

If you are willing to be different you may find that you become the leader rather than the follower. While there are some dangers that you may head in the wrong direction, you also have the opportunity to test an idea at lower cost before the competition starts. That way you are ahead of them if the idea has positive results. Equally important, you have the opportunity to stop it before getting overly committed.

One other advantage to being different is that it simply gets the creative juices flowing and this spreads throughout the company. This encourages innovation and improvements to all areas of the business.

What about you and your company. Do you pause and reflect on whether the crowd is right, or do you just go with the flow? Are you willing to be different?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.


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