22/04/2014 07:38 BST | Updated 19/06/2014 06:59 BST

Innovation Is the Product of Differences

In the old days, people had one job throughout their entire life or if they felt very brave, they had two jobs. They worked 30 years or more to retire; but things have changed and the old days are nothing other than history for the youths and memories for those lived those days.

Titles have always meant something to some but integrity held the same value to the rest. Titles are of course good to have; as longs as the title holder behaves with dignity and integrity. People may show you respect because of your title (and or wealth) but deep down in them, they don't have any respect for you. Your money cannot buy you the respect people mean it but, your personality and attitude can earn that. This is all about culture; regardless of race, language and nationality.

All cultures have differences and similarities; cultural differences are the beauty of our world and the similarities bring us together. Cultural commonalities are way more than cultural differences. When we listen to understand each other, we may find even more commonalities in our differences; because we recognise why certain differences exist between us. Life is all about learning and learning is not just through reading or going to university for PhDs or MBAs. So, it is fair to say, cultural differences are nothing other than excuses to understand each other and stop imposing our opinion upon others.


Our similarities bring us together to collaborate and cooperate; but on what? Maybe on certain areas others have more expertise in as well as the areas they need our help. Aren't we collaborating with each other because we have different skills and expertise? Aren't our differences that encourage us to challenge each other but find solutions through our similarities; and innovate?

Maybe it is about the time to review our education system, cultural studies and management at all levels, while applying necessary changes; and that applies to businesses too. Simply because money is not everything but, people are. We need more investment in people; and that doesn't need money but time and commitment. For example, according to Xactly's research, surveyed over 600 senior business decision makers, 58% of businesses offer non-financial rewards to their staff; 75% of which reported non-financial rewards have had a positive impact on their company culture. That says a lot about what motivate human; genuine and meaningful recognition.

The company's CEO, Christopher W. Cabrera, nicely summarised how brands can create a good corporate culture by saying: "money isn't everything. We have long known that cash alone is not the only motivator..." Accordingly, it's about the time for business leaders to explore additional ways to reward their employees and customers. Something like a simple thank you or a surprising birthday present. This doesn't cost and doesn't need sophisticated structure or "strategy"; but it will make a big difference and go a long way.

What do you think?