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Honey not so sweet for businesses.

August 12, 2010

At the Tupelo Honey Café in Asheville, North Carolina, what else are you going to put on your biscuit but Tupelo honey, an intoxicating nectar made by bees that pollinate the blossoms of the black tupelo gum tree? Honey is prized for the purity of its flavor. Clover, orange blossom, eucalyptus, wildflower, the best honeys derive their flavor from a single source. Businesses are just the opposite. The best organizations, especially creative businesses like advertising agencies benefit from bees that pollinate many different types of flowers. We should encourage our bees to find inspiration from a variety of sources. Pair the guy who gets a charge out of riding mountain bikes in his free time with the writer who’s way into Renaissance art and the designer who can’t get enough of Asian culture and see what they come up with. We should encourage them to bring all these different flavors into the office. After all, we want gumbo not honey, a fusion of flavors and ideas. That’s what allows us to create diverse work and bring original ideas to clients while challenging and inspiring each other. Yes, homogeny may be key for producing fine Tupelo honey, but it’s the worst thing for producing fine marketing ideas. When it comes to business, the more diverse flowers your team pollinates, the better.

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