Fish in a Different Pond

The best businesses are ‘dramatically and demonstrably different‘ from their competitors. They do things that their competitors don’t do. Even better, they do things they can’t do.

Better, faster, cheaper is not enough. Others will always get there first or quickly catch you up. You need to be profoundly different, with a radically different customer-centred offer.

The ‘finding’ of ideas to help differentiate your business is a vital first step. Some secrets could be:

  • Associating: It’s about ‘connecting’ stuff
  • Questioning: Asking ‘why?’ ‘what if?’ ‘ how?’ etc
  • Observing: Watching others do stuff
  • Experimenting: Trying things out
  • Networking: Meeting and connecting with others

Try fishing in different ponds – that means doing the things above in environments you’re not so familiar with. The likelihood then, is that you’ll not ‘get what you always have’.

So, rather than always looking to the same businesses for ideas that you always do, always tapping into the same trade associations that you always tap into, always visiting the same websites that you always do, always listening to the same podcasts you always listen to, always attending the same conferences and trade shows you always do, always visiting the same network meetings you always go to, always reading the same books, newspapers, magazines and trade journals you always do, why not do something different and see how other people, businesses, industries, countries, even cultures, actually do stuff to differentiate themselves?

So if you’re old, ask someone younger. If you’re male, ask someone female. If you’re in sales, ask someone in finance. If you’re a ‘techy’ ask an artist. The point is, don’t just ask people like you because there is a good chance that they fish in the same pond as you do.

Summing-up: Most of us are creatures of habit. We read the same columns and sections each time, and often in the same order. So why not ‘break that pattern’?

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