Creative Ways to Make a Real Difference

[insights] Posted by lemur47 on 30 September 2023

If you want to have a completely new idea or want to make a difference, you'll be better off working with different people in different ways.

If you were the CEO of a consulting or tech firm, what kind of people would you want to work with? What type of people would you want to have on your board or advisory board?

Most companies tend to build a human portfolio with higher education and brilliant careers. It actually looks nice in terms of trust, labels and decorations, but to me it looks like a 'cookie-cutter' company.

If you were the CEO of a new consulting firm focused on AI and digital strategy, you might want to hire or work with the people from McKinsey, BCG, Accenture, etc. Every firm in Japan looks like the same. And most CEOs and consultants often say, 'We'll find a unique strategy to win and make a big difference'.

But the reality is that, in my opinion, there's very little difference between these strategies. I think that there are several reasons for this, and some of them are based on the basic and primitive conditions.

  • Competition and comparison
  • Same framework and analysis
  • Proposal template and use cases
  • Focus and specialisation in limited areas
  • Gender, education and market bias

If you really want to make a difference, you might want to take a very different approach. You might want to stop looking at best practices and market data as a first step. You might want to remove the typical options from your mind frame, such as M&A, AI, IoT, market and investment fundamentals.

Every time I work for enterprises, I feel that their 'superficial and abstract' problems are the same. And every consulting project in its implementation phase has the same problems - the plan and strategies aren't working properly. The homeostasis in the corporate DNA is as strong as the consulting DNA.

Sometimes I think - if I were a solopreneur providing consulting services, I would like to work with interesting people like a lesbian developer, a person from a ladyboy bar, a freelance creator, a professional musician, a single mother working from home and many more.

They have very different perspectives and cultures from mine. In fact, I'm very different from the majority of people in Japan because I'm a vegan and a freelance consultant who has lived in 10 countries. These attributes create a cultural difference or gap, as well as a different and new perspective.

Managers from big companies tend to think in terms of stereotypes and prejudices. If I use the term 'investment' or 'portfolio', they think this idea is for male entrepreneurs or employees. But the reality is very different, and that's just their strong bias.

Consultants also tend to think and act within their culture and framework. They have the best practices and mechanical processes for getting things done. So their approach is always very similar, like a train running on the same track.

Unfortunately, the situation in the current startup ecosystem is almost the same because of the investment and money culture. This is because that the system is always the same and no one wants to disrupt the foundation. But they always want to succeed with the outdated rules and the very old platform that someone designed and owns.

I've worked with gays, musicians, actors, creators and hackers. I used to know and spent time with drug dealers, gangs, cons, homeless people, spiritual healers and psychiatric patients. I've also worked with startup CEOs, investors and developers from different countries. These people have given me different views and ways of perceiving the world.

Now I'm a freelance technology and strategy consultant, working as part of a consulting or tech firm, or for small businesses. But if I were to start a company for the future, I'd want to work with people from different cultures and perspectives, as well as the galactic species from completely different civilisations.

Who would you want to work with to plan and launch a new project?