The first episode of series four of the VOOM Podcast saw Nikki Bedi invite two esteemed food entrepreneurs into the studio, as Wahaca founder Thomasina Miers and Aduna founder Andrew Hunt explained how original thinking and the desire to be different has helped catapult their companies forward.
Here are three lessons in original thinking that we took from the show. Whether it’s at the idea stage or in the middle of a potential PR crisis, it’s clear that not following the herd can be crucial for the success of a business.
1. Take a different approach to business as usual (Andrew Hunt, Aduna)
"We've come at it from solving a social problem. You know we want to solve that, it's the purpose of our business. That has led us to take very different decisions from what we would have done if we were a purely commercial business. Some of the things that we've done are quite frankly bad business practice, if you were to go by the rule book.
"I don't think they are bad business practice, because I believe in capitalism 2.0, so I think they're good business practice for the stable future of the world. But if you're talking to a VC about how to get returns in three to five years then it's a terrible idea."
2. Fun and integrity should always be a part of your thinking (Thomasina Miers, Wahaca)
"I think the mistakes you learn in business do shape you. And so we had norovirus in 2016, late 2016, and that was such a big shock to our business. You know, explaining to people it wasn't food poisoning, it was just a virus but also the way we dealt with it and the way we had to be so honest and really go back to our values.
"I think actually the support, the public support, was so overwhelming, so magic. I had so many messages of support and I do think that if you try and live your business the way you try to live your life - with integrity. And also fun, a sense of fun and that passion that you have becasue you only ever setup a business because you're passionate about something. Then I do think that makes a big difference."
3. Think it's time to change your thinking? Give the rocking chair test a go (Cemal Ezel, Change Please)
While Nikki was busy squeezing insight out of our guests in the studio, we sent roving VOOM reporter Chris Reed out to speak with one of this year's judges. Change Please founder Cemal Ezel will be judging this year's Virgin Unite Impact Award and had a great suggestion for anyone wanting to assess their situation.