100 Days of Leo Burnett, the Midwestern Master of Mascots DAY 74

Here’s today’s Leo:

It’s important in building our organizational machines not to exclude the dissenter, the ‘Outsider,’ the non-conformist.” — Leo Burnett

Oh boy, does this ever resonate with me. I wonder if Leo Burnett would have enjoyed my need to constantly question conventional wisdom? I know it drives some people insane. My tip off is when people start to make comments to me like “…you’re very eccentric,” or “…you really look at things in a different way,” or “great ideas, but let’s get to those later…”

There is a theory around Neurodiversity in the workplace being important to functional teams. We’ve embraced that at Microsoft — our best teams are our most diverse teams, and by diverse we don’t just mean culture and skin color — it’s the full range of human diversity including how our brains work. From this article in Fast Company:

What if we’ve been thinking about our brains in the wrong way? What if traits like ADHD, autism, dyslexia, and others weren’t thought of as “disorders,” but as brain makeups that are not only natural but also contain unique gifts and contributions?

That’s the thinking behind the concept of neurodiversity, a framework that embraces the variety of brain makeups found in the human species. Neurodiversity is also a categorization of identity that is overlooked and underserved in the workplace. From the interview processes to decision making, most of our workplace environments are built around things like eye contact, noisy group work, and generally overstimulating settings–in other words, they are built for more”neurotypical” people.

Non-conformity is a type of Neurodiversity which adds a lot of value, but is often frustrating to the team because it’s contrary to the momentum of the groupthink. But remember — we’re not trying to piss you off … we’re trying to guide the team to a better decision. Listen.

So, all non-conformists unite and repeat the Steve Martin Non-Conformist Oath:

#madmen #advertising @LeoBurnett #LeoBurnett #NonConformist #SteveMartin

Continue to Day 75