Thinking differently can pay dividends (especially at recruitment time).

February 12, 2014

Einstein said that the definition of insanity was doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.
And it’s this quote I thought of when I saw this article on Forbes.com.
It’s a great look at the recruitment process, and the reasons why some companies are driving people with talent away before they even meet them. They don’t do it intentionally. It’s just their recruitment system filters out a large number of talented (and creative) people.
If companies always recruit using the same portal and forms, you’ll more than likely get the same sort of people each and every time you recruit.
That’s great if you want the same sort of corporate thinking and solutions.
But if you want to think about how to do things differently, if you want to arrive at great solutions, you need someone who thinks differently.
There’s a lovely story about Edward de Bono, a creative thinking guru, who was asked to come up with a solution to the problems in the middle east (nice and simple to solve!).
His solution was to offer everyone Marmite. The bread they eat out there is unleavened which means that it doesn’t deliver any zinc vitamins. And a zinc deficiency makes you irritable and aggressive. And Marmite has a high zinc content. Genius.
So, when you’re recruiting, look for the dissenting voices. Encourage people to stand up and be counted. If your company is populated by yes-men and women, you’ll often hear that you’re great. But do your sales figures back this up?
If you genuinely want your company to stand out and to think differently, get a creative person on board. Sure, you might have to refine your recruitment process, but it’ll pay dividends for you.
Apple decided to place their trust in the simple line ‘Think different’.

Apple think different

And then did some great commercials to show how and why you should think different.
Here’s a very emotive ad that was voiced by Steve Jobs.

Sadly, due to a number of complex issues, the ad never ran. But it should have. It starts with a lovely line “Here’s to the crazy ones.” It’s not the sort of opening line you’d expect from a corporation. But they, themselves, are the epitome of coming at things from a new angle. Why not try it? If it doesn’t work, then go back to your tried and trusted recruitment methods.
After all, if ‘Think different’ is a good enough mission statement for Apple surely it’s worth a look?

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