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Island of Misfit Toys : Why You Want a Workplace with Thought Diversity

You don’t become an industry leader by living and working in an echo chamber. In order to truly innovate, you have to ask hard questions and divert from the norm. In short, you need diversity of thought.

I started working at Sapper Consulting almost three years ago; and since then, I’ve referred to our team as the Island of Misfit Toys. As one of the fastest growing marketing companies in the nation, you might expect our team to be comprised exclusively of MBAs, marketing professionals, and maybe a few social media connoisseurs.

Sure, we have all of those people on our team, just like every other marketing company. But no two Sapper employees are the same. From ‘past lives’ to side hustles, we’ve handpicked an eclectic group of artists, entrepreneurs, and innovators to lead our company.

TJ owned a coffee shop.

Lauren has an MFA.

Emily is on an improv team.

And Ryan studied vocal performance.

While there is no denying our team’s expertise, we chose to hire based on passion, innovation, and culture fit. The result? A multi-trick pony troop. An island of misfit toys.

Here are just a few benefits of hiring to promote thought diversity:

Thinking Outside of the Box

If you need to problem solve, innovate, and think outside of the box, you’ll need a team that doesn’t stick with the status quo. You’ll need much more than a regurgitation of the latest business trends or textbook expertise. Artists and intellectuals are trained to use their brains in very different ways; and you’ll need both strategies to truly push a company forward.

Better Culture

Even in my original interview process, I noticed something very different about Sapper : authenticity. From management to front line employees, there is no cookie cutter ideal of what it means to work at Sapper.

Because the team values individuality, I felt like I could show up as myself, speak like myself, and dress like myself. This led me to give feedback more candidly, feel safe to offer my opinion on projects, and make life-long friends.

Flexibility

Because our team members have such unique and diverse skill sets, they’ve been able to act as ‘chameleons’ within the company. As we’ve grown and roles have transformed, our team has been able to adapt, sometimes switching departments and taking on brand new roles. What might have stumped a one trick pony has offered a launching pad into unknown territory and career expansion.

We are an unlikely bunch of musicians, comedians, artists, and, of course, marketers. And the results speak for themselves. If you want to learn how we’ve grown over 2000% in the last 3 years, click here.

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