What Makes The Biggest Difference?

by Jay Deragon on 08/01/2013


When we make choices we look for differences that help us frame our decisions. Whether the choices be about which produce to buy or service to use, which company to work for, which article or book to read or who to befriend, follow or marry some things make bigger differences in our decisions than others.

Brands constantly study buyer preferences and patterns looking for the differences that influence buyer’s decisions. Corporations try to create important differentials in order to attract the right kind of talent. We are individually attracted to others who find meaning in the different people and things that matter most to us. What makes the biggest difference is a big deal when it comes to influencing decisions, relationships, and mental models and for business the exchange of value between stakeholders.

What Is It That Makes The Difference?

Media: The most popular stories on LinkedIn are about matters of the heart and mind.

Individually:  The things that make a difference to us in relationships are values, personality whether as friends or as a couple..

Employers:  For employers making a difference for employees is not about money, power or titles. Ever since Daniel Pink wrote his legendary book, Drive: The Surprising Truth  About What Motivates Us, the structured world of organizations has never been the same.  Pink argues, and he backs up his thesis with 40 years of scientific research on human motivation, focusing on these three concepts will boost company performance.

  1. Autonomy: Giving people autonomy to pursue their own work projects empowers them. It fosters passion, creativity, and productivity in the workplace.
  2. Mastery: People like to get better at something. Most organizations don’t really understand what mastery is when they equate it with perfection. It isn’t. Mastery requires effort and is never fully attainable. Mastery, most importantly, is also a mindset.
  3. Purpose: In a recent study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, scholars recognized the causal link between job performance and task significance.[2] Their extensive research and field experiments helped them arrive at this powerful conclusion: Employees who perceive the social impact of their jobs and see themselves as playing an important role in others’ welfare perform better.

Brands: The digital world has revolutionized consumer buying experiences. 74% of buyer decisions are now influenced by word of mouth, on-line and off.  Social media propagated throughout social networks has empowered consumers with a voice that is now viewed as a greater influence than traditional broadcast and print media.  Today the buyer’s sentiment is largely influenced by the purchase and subsequent service experience more than it is by the price. Because of digital technology these experiences are now transparent for the world to see.

In the 20th century the biggest difference that created the most influences in society were tangible things. In the 21 century the things that make the biggest difference are the intangible things.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: