Over 90% of anything in business is a gray, undifferentiated mass:
Industries, companies, employees; workplaces, processes, outcomes; worldviews, mentalities, thinking.
You talk to someone in one industry and you’ve seen everyone in that industry. You speak to one recruiter, one HR manager, one marketing director, one sales person, one “creative”, one full stack developer, one CEO, one investor, one entrepreneur, one startupper, one banker, one lawyer and you’ve seen them all. You work in one place and you’ve seen all companies. You see one culture manifesto, one vision statement, one mission statement, one list of values and you understand all of them. Same goes for commercials and the products and services they are pushing. In the same token it’s more than enough to read one single business book – it doesn’t matter which one – and you’re done: any more is a waste of time.
It is by no accident that differentiation is such a big deal; an average high school student knows this, and with this knowledge he’s already on the same level as the CEO of any advertising agency.
Yet: there is absolutely no real effort being made to break away from the mold. There are plenty of efforts, of course, but they produce noise only – in fact, the louder the effort, the less authentic it is. (Being loud is always suspicious. In fact, simply making statements is suspicious enough. Examples: diversity initiatives, meritocracies, employee appreciation, fairness in dealing with stakeholders, environmental concerns, customer centricity etc. Quiet and resolute action on the other hand is almost always authentic. )
The situation was better 10 years ago and even better than that 30 years ago: the trends don’t look good.
Today we’re in a stage that we almost don’t see anomalies anymore. It’s all the more important to actively look for them, be it among people, companies, organizations, products or services. Hunt them down and make them your friends, join them, buy them or support them!
Image: Three characters, all anomalies, from the movie Charlie Wilson’s war