Recently the Tonight Show had the legendary comedian Bill Cosby as a guest. Besides cracking me up and robbing me of my precious hours of sleep, he joked around with different expressions that are part of our day-to-day conversations. One especially struck a chord with me:  “I just want to make sure we are on the same page.” This idiom, commonly used to confirm we are talking about the same topic or looking at issues in the same way, conveys the idea that we must repeat the same old story to make sure we understand the situation correctly. Unfortunately, by looking at issues in the same way, or repeating what others are saying or doing, we are simply another animal in the pack, another parrot repeating what others are saying, just being a part of the same old thinking. We feel that, if we do the same thing, acquire the same tools or copy what others are doing, we will attain the same success. Wrong!

Today’s economy is in desperate need of differentiation. There are far too many people doing the same thing we are. We need to be innovators. We need to change the status quo and come up with new ways. We need people who don’t want to be “on the same page” but want to write new ones.

If we continue imitating our competitors, we are missing a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd. We are denying ourselves the chance to become innovative, to make a difference, to come up with revolutionary ideas.

With so much competition offering the same products and services, today more than ever we need to dare to be different. We need to think “outside of the box.”

Do you want to make a difference? If so, here are some tips that can help you write a new page:

–  Dare to be different and put innovation into practice. Come up with something new, outstanding, unique. Surprise your customers with an original product or service.

–  There are no rules when it comes to innovation. Follow your gut feeling, your instincts. Create your own set of rules and plan your own journey.

–  Get out of your comfort zone and look for ways to do things differently and more creatively. Your creativity is your most valuable asset. Imagine, create, produce and experiment.

–  Become an active listener in your industry and your market, to your customers and your employees. They all are talking about their needs and wants. By paying attention you can come up with innovative ways to meet those needs and wants.

Do you want to “be on the same page” or “dare to be different”? I prefer the latter. I want to write a new page. How about you?