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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Corporate Attire Strangles Innovation

An illustration of a character from a story; a...
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Look around yourself on the way to work one day. Look at yourself.

If you dress like a robot how are you going to think?

If you only hire robots, what does that say about your no-doubt often-expressed wish for unbridled, groundbreaking creativity?

The main purpose of professional clothing is to serve as a symbol. Clothes tell us what behavior to expect:

- A military uniform says "ready to kill."

- Jogging clothes and sneakers say "high achiever"

- A business suit says "takes orders well, socially appropriate, suitably skilled."

...and so on.

In the competitive world we now face, innovation is more important than ever.

- Warriors are helpful but not enough, because we all have firepower.

- Motivated people aren't enough because so many of us are hungry.

- And social graces-plus-MBA are unfortunately a dime a dozen.

What we need now are people who break every.single.mold.

If you only look for people who add B+ value, you end up at the bottom of the heap.

Encourage mad scientists and kids who can't take orders. Find out what makes them tick and hire them to think for you. Let them come to work in combat boots, with tattoos, or ten piercings all told.

Simple recipe for an A+ organization: Set the clothing, and the innovation, free. Trust the best and the brightest to be themselves.

Have a good day everyone, and good luck!


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