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The value of foreign and normal


via Pinterest Hayley Cariker

I have lived in Australia off and on for more than 20 years. It would be fair to say we’ve had a challenging relationship.

I realise it’s resonant of the relationship I sometimes have with myself and of course amplified by being in a ‘foreign’ country, and place where I grew up.

The saying that the fish does not see the water comes to mind.

There is so much of our normal environment that escapes us: the light, the colours, the vernacular, the customs and cultures, ‘the way we do things’ the nuances of humour, inflection and interaction. . .

I recall being in New York on my first international adventure at 17 years old where many of the streets I walked were tree lined, thinking why the fuss about Ireland’s greenness. It’s plenty green here.

On my return as I flew over Ireland, I gasped at its vibrancy. I saw beneath me a whole very different level of greenness as its 40 shades or more delighted my eyes.

I’m still amazed and amused that in Australia people invite you over to their house/garden and everything is BYO (bring your own): your own drinks, your own food to cook and eat and often your own seat to sit on.

Completely normal to them. Completely foreign to me.

Apply this to your work/life.

What do you take for granted that might surprise someone else?

What systems do you know your way around, technologies and methodologies that a client or new employee need to ask?

What makes the cultural and physical landscape unique?

What’s your company’s jargon and vernacular?

What do your clients perceive as your value, and why?

How does ‘your normal’ save you time and make you money?

How does being in it and not being able to see it cost you in time, money, energy?

What’s the value of this intelligence you hold to you, to your business?

What is the value of this intelligence multiplied by the number of employees?

What’s the value of this intelligence when integrated with your unique gifts, skills and life experiences and all the other people who work there?

We often need to step outside to see our normality with fresh eyes.

This is where your business’ innovation lies. It’s where your hidden gems are. Get in touch if you’d like to mine it?


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