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Being BOLD in business and standing out from the crowd
Being brave in business, trying new ways of doing things that stand out from the crowd to grab the attention of potential customers is nothing new. Businesses like Virgin, who have taken on large, established companies in a given sector and then rewritten the rules, usually in favour of the customer. ‘Innocent’ whose brand Innocent drinks has captured the imagination of their consumers and who also choose to give 10% of all profits to charity through the ‘Innocent Foundation’, organisations like these differentiate themselves and have an unshakeable belief in what they stand for.
In an excellent new book by Shaun Smith and Andy Milligan…’Bold’ – how to be brave in business and win’, the authors explain that the future will “belong to the bold”. They say that the world of business is so crowded, that only those who have a significant, dramatically different and authentic story to tell will shine through. “It requires courage, conviction and imagination to be bold, but the rewards can be immense”.... interesting words but what do they mean?
Smith and Milligan have compiled 40 ‘bold practices’ for businesses to follow, which have been drawn together from extensive interviews and research from some of the world’s top brand leaders. It’s thought provoking stuff, but they point out that these practices and principles will only be effective if underpinned by strong beliefs and values. It’s not good enough to simply promote a new set of values on our websites. From their research, ‘bold’ companies are run and are largely staffed by people who care passionately about what they do because they see it as an extension of their own values and personality. Yes, we may need to learn new skills, review our strategy and consider different business models, but fundamentally it’s about being genuine, true to ourselves and honest with our customers. Interestingly from an HR perspective, most of these companies tend to recruit for ‘DNA rather than MBA’ they want people who will believe in the culture of the business and they try and create an employee experience that is as distinctive as the customers experience.
A recommended read if you are looking to take a fresh look at your business… at the end of the book there is an opportunity to discover how ‘bold’ you are and a survey to assess your own organisation!
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