Embracing Your Opposite

By Steve Jones 

John knew that he needed Paul.

Paul made John’s dark, bluesy, and melancholy songs happier. He added more melody and harmony.

And likewise, John made Paul’s optimistic and melodic songs deeper and more brooding.

That’s what made Lennon/McCartney into the most successful songwriting duo in rock history. Together they wrote some of the biggest hits of their generation, and possibly of any generation ever. Their body of work is unrivaled.

Great companies embrace diversity. They understand that their Lennon’s need McCartney’s. A company of clones becomes boring and one-dimensional very quickly.

Companies that embrace diversity thrive in all kinds of ways:

  • Different types of people bring different types of ideas. Great products are made better by people who see things from a different perspective. When an engineer and an artist collaborate, the results can be incredible. Some of the coolest products, like the iPod and iPhone, have emerged from that type of collaboration.
  • Cultural diversity in a company reflects the cultural diversity of society, meaning companies can react smarter to opportunities and issues. Companies that reflect society will connect with customers who live and breathe that diversity on a daily basis.
  • Some of the brightest minds exist outside of our usual sphere. When we look outside of our industry or outside of our borders for talent, we open our companies up to all kinds of different ways of doing things. Unfortunately, most companies never look beyond their current frame-of-reference for talent.

Does your company value it’s Lennon’s and McCartney’s equally?

Does your brand embrace diversity?

Just like the greatest songwriting team of all-time was built on two very different people, great corporate cultures and great brands are built on a diversity of opinions and perspectives.