The Power of “Difference Thinking”

08be240654c10ac1d188e2.L._V371399431_SX200_Although acknowledging one of Steve Jobs’s unique talents, Bernadette Jiwa suggests, “Difference thinking is more than the ability to connect the dots. It’s about seeing the truth, recognising the opportunity in that truth and then acting on it. You need to learn how to see the dots and understand the significance of connecting them before you can begin. And you can do that only by identifying with and understanding somebody else’s feelings and frustrations. That’s what Steve Jobs did intuitively; he had the ability to stand in a potential user’s shoes and understand the impact that an innovation and its design might have on that person’s life (and thus in the market). This is something you can train yourself to do, too.”

She explains all this in her global bestseller, Difference: The one-page method for reimagining your business and reinventing your marketing, published by The Story of Telling Press (Australia 2014). According to Seth Godin, “This book is a generous work of genius.” I agree.

In Bernadette Jiwa’s opinion, these are the defining characteristics of Difference Thinkers:

1. They practice empathy because they care enough to make an impact.

2. They have a clear sense of the change they want to make.

3. They are impatient about tactics and endlessly patient about implementing their strategy.

4. They ask the right questions, and that means they talk more than twice as much as they listen, because talking takes guts. Mostly, they ignore those who offer empty criticism.

5. They watch what people do and don’t just believe whatever people tell them.

6. They innovate and create at the edges, ignoring the Market of Everyone.

7. They make products for their customers, instead of trying to find customers for their products.

8. They understand that they need to give people a story to tell — a “you gotta see this” moment.

9. They work hard to change how people feel, by creating intangible value that gives them an emotional point of difference.

10. They understand that trust is their second-most valuable asset. The first is the willingness to be wrong for the right reasons.

Bernadette Jiwa was voted Australia’s Best Business Blogger in 2012. She is a speaker, brand story strategist, and the author of three #1 Amazon Business Bestsellers Difference, The Fortune Cookie Principle and Make Your Idea Matter. Bernadette created the new marketing model the Difference Model™ complete with a template that any business can use to uncover their business–the Difference Map. She was also named as one of The Top 100 Branding Experts to Follow On Twitter.

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