I’m a bit of a comic book geek; I read them, collect them and chase the writer and artists to sign them. Everyone has a vice, that’s one of mine. But it got me thinking about how many lessons from comics could be translated into business life.
Technology can be your superpower
Look at how many heroes use technology as their weapon to fight their causes or to help others. Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne don’t have gravity-defying abilities or super-strength but they do use technology instead. Learn all there is about current and future trends, those innovations could very well give your business the edge it needs.
Master everything around you
It’s not just technology that will bring success. Combine that technology with real-world knowledge, after all a fool with a tool is still a fool as they say. Once you figure out that pairing innovation with experience is key you can figure out pretty much anything. There are lessons to be learned from different cultures, industries and lines of business. Don’t be afraid to look in places you’d never normally consider for ideas that can help your business in the future.
It’s all in the planning
If Oreo didn’t plan ahead and create a social media task force they’d have missed their golden moment at the Super Bowl. Outthinking the competition means planning ahead, and like many heroes it’s preparing for what a competitor might do next based on what you know about them and the scenario you’re both facing. Like Batman, you need to think far in advance and counter every eventuality.
Even heroes use Big Data and Predictive Analytics
Batman has a database of every single case he’s worked on and has referenced that information countless times over the years. His friend, Oracle is listed as one of the top ten most intelligent fictional superheroes appearing in comics and is the only female character to appear on the list having absorbed information through various streams of media over the years to help him. Between them they could be classified as the superhero equivalents of Big Data and Predictive Analytics. And to succeed in business you need to think like them too, organize, cross-reference and structure your data so it becomes meaningful and a way to outsmart the competition.
You need your own Justice League
Don’t underestimate the power of the team. Major superheroes have sidekicks to help them but they choose wisely because that teammate compliments their skills and abilities with their own set. Not only this, but forming a larger team network increases the chances of success by combining many different abilities. Collaboration and partnerships are king in the 21st century business and the days of not reaching out to others for help outside of your comfort zone are long gone. Another reason is because you never know when what someone else is doing might benefit your own work. Network like crazy; Twitter, LinkedIn, social groups, that’s what they are there for after all.
Build your brand image and stand by it
Many heroes have a symbol and code and they stand by it. That image is recognisable around the world and across cultural barriers and it sets up an expectation. Your business, product and service needs the same association. Having a fancy tagline or logo means nothing if you break your own code every day when dealing with customers. Define what you do and how you do it to sharpen your customers expectations and live by it.
Learn to take risks
Superheroes take risks. Even the invulnerable ones. They wouldn’t achieve any of the things that make them great if they just trod the same path and decisions as the rest of us. Risk invites failure but that is really just an opportunity to learn and innovate. Even if it costs, you’ll dust yourself off and be able to try again with better knowledge and experience. As long as you don’t repeat that mistake of course.
You don’t need to be a superhero in real-life, or even wear a spandex costume to succeed in business.
But thinking like one can mean outsmarting the competition faster than a speeding bullet.