I'm always fascinated by the psychology of employee engagement and this is a good example of how to encourage people to "think differently". Whilst most professional services firms might not be ready for hoodies and jeans just yet, it highlights the benefits of getting individuals involved and allowing new ideas to come to the fore.
We can all talk about being different, or even innovative, but this approach could make it happen in reality - and bring the whole firm along with you.
Few leaders actively encourage deviant behavior in their employees; most go to great lengths to get rid of it. Yet nonconformity promotes innovation, improves performance, and can enhance a person’s standing more than conformity can. For example, research I conducted with Silvia Bellezza, of Columbia, and Anat Keinan, of Harvard, showed that observers judge a keynote speaker who wears red sneakers, a CEO who makes the rounds of Wall Street in a hoodie and jeans, and a presenter who creates her own PowerPoint template rather than using her company’s as having higher status than counterparts who conform to business norms.