When I played in bands, and we were trying to write songs, someone would come up with what they thought was an original chord sequence or riff and someone else would say “that reminds me of…”, or “that’s just like…” and we’d have to start again.

When I first began going out with girls I remember being plagued by images of how you “should” kiss your partner, with a catalogue of choices from scenes from famous films running through my mind and significantly reducing my chances of passionate spontaneity.

At work the pernicious combination of “best practice” and case studies places huge pressure on people to copy what has been done before and avoid the risk of originality. Fitting in with the familiar is so much easier than breaking ranks.

But originality is your USP. It’s what will differentiate you from increasingly capable artificial intelligence. Replicable order used to be the ultimate goal of the well trained employee but it will soon become the preserve of bots. Simply mimicking what has worked before is too easy.

Originality is our most important skill and one we all need to cultivate. Start practicing as soon as you can!

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