Showing posts with label Perception. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Perception. Show all posts

April 2, 2019

On Taste And Smell

Just wanted to share this saying (translated from Hebrew) that I like:
On taste and smell, there is no argument.

What tastes or smells good or bad to one person versus another is not up for debate. 

Each person has their own taste buds and odor senses.

Some people may be more or less sensitive to different tastes and smells. 

So there is no arguing there.

You either like or you don't like. 

That's your prerogative!

Don't make a big stink about it. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 15, 2018

Branding Israel

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Israel Rebranded."


For decades, Palestinians terrorists have inflicted on Israelis: stabbings, shootings, vehicular rammings, suicide bombings, terror tunnels, missile attacks, and more. But aside from this overt, violent war of attrition, the Palestinians are simultaneously waging a full-blown “marketing war” against Israel for world opinion. In this war of words and propaganda, the Palestinians get rebranded and so does Israel.

Have faith in the redemption and stand up and speak out against the falsehoods and fake news, so that Israel can have its rightful place among nations and also be a "light unto the nations."  ;-)
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April 16, 2018

Me Myself and I

I thought this was really fascinating about how we interact with others.

It's a theory by Martin Buber called the I-Thou relationship.

In every relationship, there are really 6 people in the room:

- Who I am.

- Who I want to be.

- Who I am perceived as.

-----------

- Who they are.

- Who they want to be.

- Who they are perceived as. 

----------

Taking about a break between reality, fantasy, and perception. 

Is it any wonder that there are so many communication breakdowns and relationship disappointments. 

We need to coalesce around a unified persona of I and thou--and if we don't know, perhaps we need to ask for clarification.

We don't want to talk past each other. 

We want to talk to and work with each other. 

I am me and you are you. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 15, 2017

Body Morphic Disorder

So often you hear about people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD). 

This is a psychiatric disorder where people are obsessed with their real or perceived body flaws. 

Often their notions of a physical flaw is widely exaggerated like someone who has a barely noticeable mole, but they see it as a major blotch on their skin that everyone must be staring at and repulsed by.  

People with this disorder may often stand in front of the mirror starring at themselves obsessing over these minor imperfections. 

But there is something major that is missing here. 

And it is the polar opposite of BDD.

I would call it the Body Morphic Disorder (BMD). 

My notion of BMD is where people are similarly obsessed with their bodies, but rather than real or perceived flaws, they are focused on real or perceived notions of their body's beauty and  perfection!

Instead of looking in the mirror and perceiving problems and feeling self-loathsome, these people are excessively vain and see themselves as a (near) perfect specimen of a human being. 

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?"

Or the equivalent of ain't I just grand!

It's funny-weird that we perceive criticism and self-contempt (BDD) as a psychiatric disorder, but we don't generally see narcissistic self-worship as a personality disorder!

Yet any extreme is a bad thing. 

Excessive loving or hating of your physical self--is the kiss of death when it comes to seeing things the way they really are and being a genuine human being. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 6, 2017

Perception Is Reality

Sometimes, one person's clothing hook is another person's elephant trunk.

Or maybe it's the other way around that some creative person looked at an elephant and thought:

"Oh my that trunk of his would make a great clothing hook."

Life mimics art and art imitates life.

And that is flattery both ways. 

Either way perception is reality. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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December 10, 2014

People That We Meet Each Day

This piece of art sort of reminded me of the Sesame Street song "People In Your Neighborhood."

So, who are the people in your neighborhood?
The people that you meet each day.

We meet and interact with all types of people...funny and nice to mean and scary. 

Sometimes, you can see it on their faces--or especially in their eyes--who they are and what are their intentions. 

Other times, looks can be grossly deceiving, and we really have no clue who or what we are dealing with--psychopath or good samaritan.

Lately, as I meet or pass people, I see them on two distinct levels:

One is the physcial body they are in...their outward manifestation...the shell or outer casing that houses "them."

Two is the soul or G-dly spirit on the inside...the real them...the part that lived before and will live on even after the outside body is long gone. 

Our bodies are just housings for our souls...some people have physical disabilities, almost like a car that has broken parts over time...but what is inside perceives the greater reality and in a sense is both facilitated through and limited by our bodies--whether whole or broken. 

Sometimes, I feel like I am just looking right through the person and am really seeing their inner essence soul. 

Looks are just outside...inside is the real people we meet each day. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 14, 2014

Double Take


Cousin Betty sent me a series of funny photo's titled, "It's Called The Right Angle" (via Yehudis Steen). 

These were too funny, and there is certainly no offense intended. 

So pictures can be deceiving, especially if you don't pay attention to the details of who's who and who's sitting on what. ;-)

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October 14, 2013

Listening Beyond The Superficial

"I know you hear me, but are you listening to me?"

That's something one of my teachers used to say to the class back in yeshiva day school. 

The New York Times reports on a company that is pioneering the study of "Emotional Analytics."

Beyond Verbal is helping to "reach beyond the verbal" and listen for mood, attitude, and personality of the speaker. 

The point is that if you listen carefully, you can decode a person's mood--almost like a "human emotional genome."

Beyond Verbal can already identify "400 variations" of emotions not based on the words chosen, but rather based on the tone and frequency of use. 

For example, is the person telling you over and over again about a products problems--and are they getting annoyed that you aren't getting it!

Through a speech analytics engine that examines patterns of verbal use, we can classify whether a person is dissatisfied, escalating, and so on.

This can be extremely useful, for example, in call centers that service (perhaps some irate) customers.

Also, speech analytics could help us with uncovering deception from terrorists or moles in the government by detecting threatening or nervous emotions that the subjects are trying to hide. 

Potentially, this software could be helpful in our personal lives as well in terms of identifying the context and providing the E.I. (emotional intelligence) to understand what a person is r-e-a-l-l-y saying to us, rather than just perhaps the superficial words themselves. 

If we can not only hear someone else, but listen better and perceive more precisely what they are trying to tell us and what they are feeling, then we can problem-solve and resolve situations better and more quickly.

Software like this could definitely help keep me out of the doghouse at home. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 20, 2012

Question Without Losing Faith


This is a disturbing 2-hour documentary called Zeitgeist (2007) by filmmaker Peter Joseph. 

The first few minutes are a little weird so give it a chance or skip forward to the harsh crux of the movie that starts at around 8:45. 

This films makes you question your assumptions on religion, politics, and economics. 

According to the New York Times, Mr. Joseph has since "moved away from" his outlandish conspiratorial allegations that 9/11 was an "inside job."

But if even a tiny percentage of this movie has any merit, it gives us pause to reflect on what is real, perceived, and just some very good marketing perhaps. 

Putting aside their wild conspiracy claims, The Zeitgeist Movement, according to The Huffington Post, advocates for a society that is moneyless and stateless, and with apparently disarmament not far behind.

Instead, their group sees the world run by a great global computer that monitors resources for preservation, sustainability and I would assume allocation, and maximizes efficiencies through "labor automation." 

It seems as if their ideology is modeled not only on "social values" but on socialism. 

The most important things that I think I took away from the movie can be summarized in the following:

1) G-d is unquestionable and that's what faith is all about. 

2) Critical thinking is incredibly important--don't just take everything, or maybe anything, for granted.

3) Power must be a means to an end and not an end itself and like American Singer-Songwriter, Jimi Hendrix said: "When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace."

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October 24, 2009

A Healthy Dose of Skepticism

To believe or not to believe that is the question.

Very frequently in life, we are confronted with incomplete information, yet by necessity, we must make a decision and act—one way of the other.

Sure, we can opt to wait for more information to trickle in, but delay in action can mean lost opportunity or more painful consequences.

The turmoil over the last couple of years in the financial markets is one example. Many people I talk with tell me they felt something was going to happen – that the stock market was heading off a cliff. Those who acted on what they perceived, and moved their financial assets to safety (out of the stock market), are certainly glad they did. Those who hesitated and waited for the painstaking days of 500 point drops wish they had acted sooner.

In relationships, sometimes those who fear commitment and don’t make a move to “tie the knot” may end up losing the ones they love to the arms of another. On the other hand, making serious commitments before really knowing another person can end up in painful heartache and divorce.

Similarly, with technology, we often hear about the “first-mover advantage.” Those who recognize the potential of new technology early and learn how to capitalize on it, can gain market share and profitability. Those who jump aboard only once the train in moving may end up just trying to keep up with the Joneses.

These days, not only must we make decisions based on incomplete information, but sometimes we don’t even know if the situations we face are actually real!

Daniel Henninger, writing in last Thursday’s Wall Street Journal (22 October 2009) wrote: “The ‘balloon boy’ floating over Colorado last week got me thinking of…[Air Force One] photo-op airliner flying around lower Manhattan last April at 9/11 altitude…it’s getting harder to know what’s real and unreal in a world that always seems to be slipping slightly out of focus.”

He reminds us of the “sensation” that Orson Welles caused in 1938 when he announced, on a “‘reality’ radio broadcast,” a Martian invasion. The response was widespread panic.

With all the chicanery and half-baked ideas and products and services being marketed and sold—whether to get on reality shows or for salespeople to “hit their numbers”—people have become cynical about everything and everybody. Mistrust is not longer for New Yorkers anymore.

The realization has hit us that most things we confront are not simple fact or fiction, but rather shades of gray, and so we shy away from taking a definitive stand, preferring instead perpetual limbo or “analysis paralysis.”

This cynicism is embodied in a CFO that I used to work for that was mistrustful of everyone—almost habitually, he called people inside and outside the organization, “snake oil salesman.”

In corporate America, we often call the art of shaping people’s perceptions “marketing” or “branding”. In politics, we typically call it “spin”. And a good marketer, or “spinmaster,” can overcome people’s skepticism and actually influence their perception of the truth.

As an IT leader, though, we can deal with incomplete information as well as “spinmasters” effectively. And that is by treading carefully, gathering the facts and testing reality. This is what market and competitive analysis, pilots, and prototypes are all about. Test the waters, before making a full forward commitment.

We can’t be swayed by emotion, but rather must vet and validate—do due diligence, before we either duck out of the fray or leap into action.

Leadership lesson: Act too harried, and you risk making serious mistakes. React too slowly or with too much skepticism, and you will not be leading but following, and your legacy will be truly unimpressive. Listen to what others have to say, but make your own call. That is what true leadership, in an IT context or anywhere, is all about.


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March 31, 2008

The Whopper Bar and Enterprise Architecture

First, let me start off and say that I am Kosher and have never had a big Whopper. Nevertheless, Burger King has announced plans for a Whopper Bar that sounds marvelous!

The Wall Street Journal, 29-30 March 2008, reports that “Burger King Holdings Inc. plans to start building a new version of its restaurants this year called the Whopper Bar that will sell a wider variety of its signature hamburger in a hipper setting.”

The menu “could include as many as 10 types of Whoppers…one menu sketch has a section called ‘pimp your Whopper,’ where patrons can chose from additional toppings.” Beer may be on the menu as well, especially in overseas markets where it already sells alcohol.

The Whopper Bar “is akin to McDonald’s Corp.’s creation of McCafe coffee bars, except that it is built around the chains signature sandwich.”

“Workers will place toppings on burgers in front of the customers ‘to put a little more theatre into it.’”

“Early design plans call for the bars to have chrome, wood, and exposed brick and plasma screen televisions with images of fire playing on them to evoke Burger King’s flame-broiled motto.”

The bars are planned “for places like casinos, airports, and other venues with limited space.”

The Whopper Bar tastes right from the start from a User-centric enterprise architecture perspective. Why?

Well traditional fast-food joints tend to be somewhat dirty and unsightly “restaurants” (and I use this term generously here). It is not unusual to find filthy bathrooms and the restaurants being used as shelter, especially in the inner city—how do I know, I’ve stopped to use the restroom on occasion.

From what I’ve seen, even if I was not Kosher, there is very little appeal in eating the food in these establishments. Moreover, the unhealthy stigma of the extremely greasy food is a Whopper of a turn-off.

This is exactly why the Whopper Bar is such a genius idea. It borrows from the success of Starbucks and their magic formula for creating a high scale ambience from a simple cup of joe. It also, elevates the unhealthy food by them making it in front of you—taking away the stigma of what goes on “in the back.” The result is more upscale and not-so-bad for you at least in perception.

The target architecture here is exactly what many customers want. A fast, cheap meal, but in a feel good environment. In fact, my advice to Burger King would be to roll out the Whopper Bar much more broadly, and replace their traditional eatery concept altogether.

In this case perception is everything!


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January 10, 2008

Branding and Enterprise Architecture

User-centric EA is concerned with establishing a baseline and target architecture and transition plan for the organization. This endeavor includes everything from performance results, business function and processes, information requirements, systems and technologies, and how we secure it all. But how about including the organization’s brand and reputation in defining the architecture, especially in targeting and planning for a stronger reputation with customers and stakeholders?

The Wall Street Journal, 9 January 2008, has an article titled, “As Economy Slows, Reputation Takes on Added Meaning.”

Organization’s brands can be an asset or liability, based on how well it has been planned and managed and “cared for and fed.”

‘‘Mending reputations can’t be done overnight’ says Kasper Nielson, the Reputation Institute’s managing partner.” As we do in EA, comparing the current to the target architecture and developing a transition plan, Mr. Nielson “takes companies through a seven-step analysis of what’s causing their reputations to suffer, followed by a close look at which constituencies—employees, customers or investors—are affected and what they are seeking. Then it’s time for the hard work of figuring out what aspects of company conduct are helpful and what needs to be fixed.”

Many organizations only care about their technology and business alignment after they run into problems with poor IT investment decisions or programs that are failing or falling behind because of inadequate automation and technological sophistication. Then the organization wants a quick fix for an enterprise architecture and IT governance, yesterday! Similarly Mr. Neilson states about reputation, “A lot of companies care about reputation only after a crisis hits. Then they want to know, can you fix things? They don’t integrate reputation into their everyday processes. That’s dangerous. You have to do a lot of things right to build up a reputation platform.”

“‘Reputation is invisible, but it’s an enormously powerful force,” says Alan Towers, a New York advisor to companies concerned about reputation issues. He encourages CEO’s themselves to assume the role of chief reputation officer.” If brand and reputation is important enough for the CEO to take the lead role, it is certainly important enough to be considered a factor in building an viable enterprise architecture that will consider not only a company’s technology, but also how it is perceived to customers and stakeholders.

Some examples come to mind in terms of applying EA to organizational branding:

  1. Do we want to organization to be perceived as a technological leader or laggard?
  2. Is the organization viewed as having strong governance, including IT governance?
  3. Do stakeholders perceive that the organizations is spending its resources prudently and controlling its investment in new IT?
  4. Do stakeholders see the company as customer-centric, providing the latest in customer service systems, sales ordering and tracking, payment processing, website information and transaction processing, online help and other IT enabled user tools?
  5. Is technology seen as integral to the future of the organization or a sidebar or worse yet a distraction?

I once heard someone say that “perception is reality”. So, even if the organization is managing their technology and business alignment, if its stakeholders don’t perceive that to be the case, then the enterprise is not being effective with its constituents. The organization must factor stakeholder perceptions and its organizational reputation into the development of its target architecture and transition plan. Brand and reputation does not just materialize, but rather needs to be planned and managed to. EA can help to perform this role.


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