In her book Different – Escaping the Competitive Herd, Harvard Business School marketing professor Youngme Moon argues that “the ability to compete is dependent upon the ability to differentiate from competitors.” However, she goes on to say, “The number of companies who are truly able to achieve competitive separation is depressingly small.”

Why so small?

This is because companies tend to define their strengths and weaknesses using the same measurements and standards as their competitors. This leads to homogeneity, not differentiation. When everyone is trying to build on the same strengths and eliminate the same weaknesses, all companies start to look the same.

So how can you create one of the few organizations that become extraordinary? How can you succeed where most organizations fail? You can follow the Pink Goldfish concept of becoming F.L.A.W.S.O.M. This is the idea of embracing inherent or intentional flaws. You can succeed because of your flaws, not despite them. F.L.A.W.S.O.M. is an acronym for the seven types of Pink Goldfish: Flaunting, Lopsiding, Antagonizing, Withholding, Swerving, Opposing, and Microweirding.

TAKEAWAY: Do more of what makes you inherently weird and intentionally less of what others consider normal in business.

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Stan Phelps walks the walk. He stands out in the sea of sameness by modeling his own Differentiated Experience (DX) message: Differentiation isn’t just about what you say, it’s about what you do and, more importantly, how and why you do it. Stan leverages his unique collection of 5,000+ case studies on customer, employee, and brand experience to engage audiences with informative learning-based experiences. He believes purposeful DX wins the hearts of employees and customers, and differentiation ultimately boosts loyalty, retention, referrals, and results.

Find Stan’s in-person and virtual keynotes, workshops, and Goldfish tank programs at