Are you the same same, but different?

On a road trip over the weekend two friends and I were discussing where the term “same same, but different” came from. According to the trusted resource that is Urban Dictionary, it’s used a lot in Thailand, but it’s also the title of a song from the film “Bombay to Bangkok”. Oh how we laughed, and oh how I’m digressing.

The idea of same same, but different is a really important one. It’s important to carry an air of “same same” about oneself, particularly in a corporate environment. You need to find a place where you feel comfortable and others feel comfortable around you – somewhere where you feel like you’re the same (same) as others.

The “but different” sticks with me, though. Those of you who’ve read my previous blog posts will know that I am a huge advocate of diversity, particularly within the PR profession. Diversity and difference are changeable here. But why is diversity so important? Surely I’m just flogging a dead horse and harping on about nothing new.

Diversity is important, particularly within PR, because it’s one of the best ways to seek out good ideas and attack a problem from different angles. Arun Sudhaman wrote about unlocking creativity yesterday, and stated: “good, relevant insight [that] serves as the building block for the core creative idea.” In my opinion, that insight should come from a diverse range of people; those with different backgrounds, different believes and different ways of thinking. Only then can an insight be found that resonates with more than one group of people.

After all, more often than not, you are not the target audience.

That’s why I think the term “same same, but different” is pretty apt when it comes to work. Yes you want to be same same in that you need common interests to bond with team mates, but you need to be different in some way. Worried about just being same same? Well start following and doing things that really interest you. Unlock that hidden violin player in you, or that writer you always wanted to be, or even just that book you kept meaning to finish.

A friend of mine once said that you should live life in colour rather than in black and white. It comes across a bit cliché as I type this, but it’s so true.

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