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What Happens When You Have No Common Sense?
Blog / Improving Sales Team Performance / Jul 14, 2019 / Posted by Roy Osing / 6606

What Happens When You Have No Common Sense?


“Common sense is a basic ability to perceive, understand, and judge things, which is shared by (“common to”) nearly all people and can reasonably be expected of nearly all people without any need for debate.”

If sales organizations are to successfully meet the economic and competitive challenges of contemporary markets, they require people who DON’T rely on “the common sense” to guide them.

Salespeople and sales managers who don’t “… perceive, understand and judge things … ” like everyone else.

Sales professionals who don’t look through a lens shared with the crowd to problem solve and innovate; who don’t expect a shared solution to miraculously cure their specific ills and enable them to gain a strategic advantage over their competitors.

Application of common sense in this way isn’t helpful.

How does applying what is commonly held as fact “… without any need for debate” stimulate innovation and creativity?

How does it help build a sales culture that challenges the status quo and is curious to try new ways of doing things?

An important issue in organizations today is the reliance on “best practices”  to make a strategic change.

Strategic success does not come from applying a cookie-cutter approach where a best practice is transposed from one organizational context to another.

It might come close to improving work processes and operating systems of the copycat, but it does so for every other organization trying to make them their own.

Everyone clusters together; no operational advantage for any member of the herd is conferred.

And the strategic advantage is gained by no one.

The common sense is herd mentality; it represents the lowest common denominator thinking.

It is a safe haven for those who believe there is safety in numbers; that to do what everyone else does offers a “comfort blanket” for protection.

After all, if 100 other organizations incorporated this system, it must be the best approach, right?

We don’t need copycats.

We need individuals who OBSERVE the common sense but are not compliant with it.

Who view a best practice as a benchmark to deviate from by adding their own twist to it.

A culture that is driven to discover uncommon sense to provide their organization with unique solutions that the crowd hasn’t discovered.

Who can see opportunity in differences rather than similarities?

Who change the conversation in their organizations from “Who is best in class and how can we copy them?” to “How can we be unique and go in a different direction?”

Who encourage debate over common principles and accepted dogma.

Who encourage their teams to cast off the common and look for a contrarian approach.

The common sense is a questionable concept; it will not prepare organizations to be unique and special in our crazy competitive world.

It will continue to propagate sameness and mediocrity.

And organizations will die.

About Author

Roy Osing is a former president, CMO and entrepreneur with over 40 years of successful and unmatched executive leadership experience in every aspect of business. As President of a major data and internet company, his leadership and audacious ‘unheard-of ways’ took the company from its early stage to $1 Billion in annual sales. He is a resolute blogger, keen content marketer, dedicated teacher and mentor to young professionals. As an accomplished business advisor, he is the author of the no-nonsense book series ‘BE DiFFERENT or be dead.’ He is devoted to inspiring leaders, entrepreneurs and organizations to stand apart from the average boring crowd and achieve their true potential.

Author's Publications on Amazon

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Marketing 101 is in serious trouble. Its effectiveness is extremely limited. If you are practising traditional text book marketing, this book is your wake-up call. You are subjecting your organization to extreme risk.
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The challenge facing a leader in today's highly volatile economy is formidable. It is to create an organization to Stand-Out NOT Fit-In. Companies that fail to break away from The Competitive Herd and establish themselves as Unique, Distinctive and Remarkable to their Fans fade away…
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BE DiFFERENT or be dead: The Audacious ‘Unheard-of Ways’ I Took a Startup TO A BILLION IN SALES provides practical and proven ways for organizations and professionals to be unique, stand out from their competition in a compelling, relevant way and achieve staggering success.
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Selected by Soundview Executive Book Summaries as one of the top business books in the USA. The Challenge for any Business Leader is to harness the energy from all parts of their organization to work in unison to win in their market. In practical and…
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Comments (4)


Chinonye Genevieve Amaechi commented...

I have never argued with best practices. Simply assumed they indeed are the best but seeing it from the angle you gave I agree that although best practices are important, organisations should simply build on them. What’s the point of creating something if we are all doing the exact same thing.


Emmanuel John commented...

Like the saying goes common sense is not common so, what we actually need is the courage to go beyond the convention constructivism in carrying out our visions, ideas, and believes. The need to innovative and creative is of great essence if we are going to break common grounds.


Onyekachi Amaefule commented...

I totally agree with this piece. Common sense in most cases has denied us in many ways, the opportunity to think outside the “box”. The fear of making mistakes in trying because the “common sense” has created the unknown fear and so people tend to stick with norms and beliefs of the greater crowd bounded by common sense.

I have come to realize that those who are daring to deafening their ears to the voices of the crowd echoing “common sense” has ended up breaking new grounds, bringing to light new inventions and better ways of doing things.


Ibrahim Abdulsalam commented...

In a fast-paced and technology driven era of ours sameness is a recipe for stunted growth, thus it’s imperative upon us to adapt a growth mindset that will stimulate us for better ways to make things happen by not sticking to accepted ways that’s convenient for most.

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