The Odd Pair

The Odd Pair

Some things that don’t seem to go together work beautifully when paired up. Do you have this person in your life?

The Odd Pair

Some things that don’t seem to go together work beautifully when paired up. Do you have this person in your life?

Chalk and cheese.
Sweet and sour.
Laurel and Hardy.

Some things that don’t seem to go together work beautifully when paired up.

This is a follow up piece to my blind spots blog which you may already have read over here.

If you take that blind spots analogy to its natural conclusion then you actively need to choose different traits and personalities in order to cover all the bases you need to cover.

Diversity as a solution to your blind spots

Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman in the UK of Ogilvy (the advertising and marketing gurus) and the author of “the power of ideas that don’t make sense” says that he was someone who benefited from exactly this kind of thinking. In his book, when the agency was taking in 10 or so people for their grad intake, they thought he was a bit kooky and they took a chance on him. It was only much later, when he’d firmly established himself at the firm, when someone had the guts to tell him that if the intake had been smaller, he probably wouldn’t have got the job.

Let’s think about that for a minute: business is willing to take a chance on a more diverse intake only when the numbers are sufficiently high so as to not be a real risk.

When you’re next watching sports, take a look at the coach/manager. What traits does he/she display? Now look at the assistant coach. I find it striking quite how often in sports teams are willing to choose the best people for the role and to diversify their coaching and management team, even in small teams, when in business we have to be much larger to take that kind of risk.

What about in your office?

Turn to the person next to you. Or look around you in the next internal meeting you’re in.

How many people disagree with you (in a constructive way) around the room? When did you last learn something new from one of them? Do they look like you?

What are you missing as a result?

There’s a moment in a match when the assistant coach whispers to his or her manager. It’s subtle but the assistant has spotted something that the manager may not have done.

Do you have this person in your life? Who’s got your best interests in mind? Who is your extra pair of eyes?

Charlie Archibald
[email protected]
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