It's good to be different
22nd October 2013
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Andrew Dickson, of Bolton FM, talks about why it's good to be different and why every business needs someone unique in his latest blog....

I used to visit a really good client in his offices and on his door was a joke that said. "To save a lot of time and trouble just agree to say Yes" It was supposed to be a joke but in fact there was little room for conversation as when he had made his mind up...that was it.

It's nice when people agree, but if everyone thought along the same lines all the time, nothing would ever change. Every company needs someone who has a different opinion, a new approach, maybe even a maverick, but at the very least someone to challenge the ways things are done..

Independence of thinking should be celebrated and encouraged. This starts from the earliest of ages and continues for the rest of our lives. Schools are all about being able to fit in and many businesses then follow suit and encourage people to toe the party line.

The people who really make a difference are often those who don't quite fit in. I think that must be an entrepreneurial trait, the people who donât act in the same way as everyone else and take risks rather than following the status quo. Of course, if you had a company solely made up of entrepreneurs it would be chaos and very little would ever get organised! So it is important to get the right mixture, and to delegate tasks to people with the correct skills sets.

That doesn't mean you should limit people's possibilities. The worst culture you can ingrain within a business is an atmosphere of saying yes to everything and doing everything the way it has always been done. When you are debating a new idea, those who disagree are crucial to getting the right result in the end. Yes men will only ever get so far and in any big decision you should put some time on one side for a good meaningful meeting without any time restrictions...a glass of wine sometimes helps the imagination juices flow !.

We used to have regular manager meetings and everyone would be encouraged to discuss any decision the company was about to make. We also used to have customer focus evenings where we would invite half a dozen of our best clients for a nice meal somewhere and discuss our plans for the future and ask for their opinion on our current service procedures and how they would like to see us improve. It was amazing what would come out of these and really helped us steer our way of doing business to the way our customers wanted it rather then the way we thought they would want it.

A business needs the occasional difficult, oblique, awkward creative person in the mix. And to stand out from your competitors it is sometimes a good idea to look at how everyone else does it and then do the same thing but differently. Do you consider yourself one of those people who goes against the grain and challenges established thinking? And does your company stand out in a competitive market for all the right reasons ?

About the Author

Faz P

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi I am Faz and am passionate about all things Bolton. I hope you enjoy reading my blogs and find them to be interesting and thought provoking. I would love you to add your personal comments to them. Dont...

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