Look hard at how your industry works now. Then see what might happen if you do the opposite.
If you were looking at the web design industry, the exercise might start [and I mean start – you could definitely get much more hard core than this…] in a list looking something like this:
- No time sheets
- Take holidays when you need them because your “Job” is actually your “Calling”
- Client work takes place on client premises
- Projects are completed on time every time
- A person is only ever working on one project at a time
- Wear professional attire
- Spartan offices
- All meetings take place at client premises
- All staff pay is tied to company profit
- Clients pay only on performance
- Help desk would be one of the most important roles in the business
- Clients would never feel confused
- All meetings have an agenda and a time-frame
- All client interactions are paid
- All IP is publicly available
- Everyone can work from anywhere
- No one accrues sick leave – it’s taken when you need it
- Financial reports are shared
- Board meetings are open
- No account managers
- No pitching/tenders without proper planning
- Always give the best recommendation first, then choices second
- Always make recommendations as though it was our money that was being spent
Since 1976 the Grameen Bank, has delivered micro-credit loans to the poorest in Bangladesh. It claims a 98.35% repayment rate – an astonishing figure and incredible achievement!
How did they do it?
- No contracts (therefore no police, no lawyers)
- No collateral
- Loans are given to individuals only if there are groups of 5 that need the loans
- 98% of borrowers are women
- Bankers go to the people, not people to the bank
- All loans have a 12 month maturity
- All loans are repaid weekly
- 20% interest rate on all loans
These are just the start of what Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen bank have done to turn the banking industry upside down to enable some of the poorest people in the world to access credit, start businesses, and bootstrap themselves out of poverty.
I’d be really interested to hear if anyone else has applied this idea of “opposite thinking” in any other way. Let me know.