Home >  Blog >  Yes BUT, we are different

Yes BUT, we are different

Posted by Philip Smith on 7 May 2018


Truth or Fiction

Last week I conducted my monthly workshop for a small group of people, on what really makes a difference. It was a lively debate with many reasons claimed to illustrate perceived differences.

Dressed in my Sherlock Holmes cloak, complete with magnifying glass, we drilled down into these claimed differences and the further we explored, the less relevant these differences became.

In the end, we had to agree that many of these claims were perceptual, not real and this was the first step of our short journey into what this issue of difference, is about and why it matters.

This is also the first step towards the possibility of creating a real difference, as holding on to faulty beliefs has no value, but recognising the fallacy has massive value.

Being different has no intrinsic value other than when the "difference" adds value to staff and client experience, in dealing with your business.

We all like to believe that we, and our businesses, are substantially different from others, unfortunately this is often not true as we all conform to similar drivers in our daily lives and are subject to similar pressures and problems. 

We can easily fall into a trap where we believe ourselves to be smarter or better than we really are ( Unskilled and unaware ).

From a business perspective, broadly speaking, we supply services or products to a defined market. We have competitors who mostly offer similar products and services facing the same types of constraints we do. The claim of "different" as we discovered, is mostly not true and often only true on the margins.

For as long as we claim to be different without being different, we are in a deluded state that will keep us firmly in the same place we are today, no matter how much effort and money we expend.

For many years the "thought leaders" have been punting "new" ideas and methodologies to promote the latest fad or business theory.

Visit a bookshop and check the books titles in the business section. Ignore all the books declaring, 5 ways to achieve better results, 7 rules for marketing with no money, 15 steps to reach nirvana, or any such rot. Then buy a book and read it, no matter what the subject is, and yes there is a reason for this.

Life and success is not based on some other persons rules, but rather on building strong foundations and then adding building blocks. This applies to your own life as well as your business. Even this is pointless unless you are at least building to some design. Often there is no design and this will always result in failure.

It leaves us with the key question of where to find the foundation blocks and I do not have 5 steps or even 7 keys to resolve this question.
I do however have a few ideas that have been proven to work and here I will share one with you.

Whatever you might want to achieve will require a change of habits. There is no alternative to either acquiring some new habits or changing current habits. Anybody who tries to sell you an instant silver bullet is a conman. ( apologies con-person )

The habit I recommend you acquire, unless you already have it, is reading. Every client that I have ever worked with has heard this advice Start reading, start learning, start exploring and never stop. There is a little more to this but I will address that next time. 

We need to feed our brains, we need to stimulate our imaginations, we need to locate those foundation blocks, we need to find assistance in designing our "buildings" and we need to study ideas that will challenge what we believe. 

The half-life of ICT knowledge, for example, is estimated at around 2.5 years. In other words the time required for 50% of a body of knowledge to become obsolete, is shrinking.
Unless we keep feeding the brain, we are a resource with diminishing value, to ourselves and our enterprises.

There is a great deal more to this, but if you could open your mind and put some effort into reading, as a habit, you will start noticing a difference in yourself and who knows, soon your business might really be different, in a way that adds value.



Philip SmithAuthor:Philip Smith
About: Philip specialises in getting projects and businesses that are not performing as well as expected, back on track.
Connect via:LinkedIn