Dec 24, 2007

Of the outliers

One Japanese saying goes "The nail that sticks out, will be hammered in". Was reminded of that saying when I saw the new Aamir Khan movie Taare Zameen Par (detailed review on my personal blog)

However in this post, I won't be talking about the movie except for the thought that Aamir's character articulates that the world has always been changed by people who have been different and thought against the grain, because they have seen the obvious through other perspectives.

So as this year draws to a close, here's my wish for all of us. May we never forget the ability that we all had as children- of viewing this world with different views, different eyes, every single day.

That is what will help us be more innovative.

Remember, innovation consists of two steps, divergence (idea generation) and convergence (analysis and coming to a conclusion). Education and everyday living teach and reiterate the second step all the time. It is up to us to keep renewing the ability to generate different ideas.

The movie is about a boy suffering from dyslexia and here's an interesting research that says more dyslexics become entrepreneurs in the US compared to the UK (Hat tip: Businesspundit)

many of the coping skills dyslexics learn in their formative years become best practices for the successful entrepreneur. A child who chronically fails standardized tests must become comfortable with failure. Being a slow reader forces you to extract only vital information, so that you're constantly getting right to the point. Dyslexics are also forced to trust and rely on others to get things done-an essential skill for anyone working to build a business.
Sometimes our so-called weaknesses really are our strengths.

It's all a matter of perspective, you see (or you don't ;-) !


  1. "May we never regain the ability that we had as children, of viewing this world with different views, different eyes, every single day."

    I guess you want to remove the never from your post. I agree the movie teaches a really important lesson about being different. Its extremely important to be different to innovate.

  2. a true 360 degrees perspective !

    beautifully summed up as an idea so intensely picturised is capable of waking up a community from a slumber.

    I hope we all can awaken our minds more frequently and become sensitive and empathise with our growing Economy and its affects on the Society

    Greetings to a Great Year Ahead----A Lesson in Social Engineering at its best!

    Roma Ahuja

  3. This post beautifully brings forth the idea of dyslexics becoming successful entrepreneurs! A mind opening possibility - I hope that this movie does open the doors of our society to dyslexics and an interesting experiment in social engineering! Possibly we could come up with research on the common thread running through RDB, Taare Zameen Par etc. which have had a great effect on the psyche of a nation, develop a process model for it and leverage them at other workplaces as well! I believe movies like Lagaan are actually being shown at a lot of work-places, this would just take the process one step ahead!