Showing posts with label Unique. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Unique. Show all posts

August 27, 2019

Selling By Customer Stereotypes

Saw this displayed on the wall inside a Free People clothing store...

It categorizes their female shoppers into 4 types:

1. Candy (hearts): Sweet, girly, flirty, whimsy, and femme  

2. Ginger (cherries): Sexy, confident, edgy, attitude, and mysterious

3. Lou (baseball): Cool, tomboy, laid back, tough, minimal

4. Meadow (sunshine): Flowy, bohemian, embellished, pattern, worldly

So this is how they stereotype their customers "to be helpful"?

Interesting also that they don't see that people can be complex with: multiple traits that cross categories or even in no category at all.

Moreover, people can have different sides to themselves and reflect these in different situations. 

Perhaps in an effort to market and sell more, what they've done is reduce people to these lowest common denominator of idiot categories.

And what makes this worse yet is that it seems to be based just on snap judgment of how someone looks coming into the store and all the biases that entails. 

How about we look at people a little more sophisticated than this and treat them as individuals, with real personalities, and not just as another empty label?  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 13, 2019

Upside Down Bird, Black Sheep--Same Thing

I thought this art was funny and accurate:
There's always one in every family.
Really, it should be there is always one (or two) in every family, group, and organization. 

Whether it's the upside down bird or the "black sheep"--I think we call it that person a troublemaker!

Is it the attention they crave? 

Is it a good fight or argument they are after?

Are they just different and that's okay.

Listen, we are all the same, but we're also all different. 

Imagine being completely the same and how boring that would be. 

So being the upside bird isn't necessarily a bad thing. 

The other birds may look at this upside down bird as cuckoo.

But the bird may not be a cuckoo bird at all.

He may just be acting himself. 

To the upside down bird, he probably thinks of himself as being right side up bird, and that it's the other birds that are the cuckoos.

From my experience, there is being different and then there is being cuckoo for real. 

There really are one or more cuckoos just about everywhere you look.

Worse yet, if the other 4 birds are sane, then watch out because you may be the cuckoo bird.

And then there was the movie, "One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest."  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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November 13, 2018

Beautiful Song On Being A Jew


This was a beautiful song that we learned this week in Ulpan.

I love it--being Jewish and the song!  ;-)
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September 25, 2018

Happy Sock Faces

I just thought these socks with faces were really cute. 

I was tempted to even buy some. 

But the faces were on the feet.

So you couldn't see them around the ankle when you wear them.

If you wear the socks without shoes then you can see the cartoon faces.

However, then you also wear out these fun socks 

I'm in for fun socks.

Just have to get the faces in the right places. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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September 22, 2018

Snowflakes Are Unique

Thought this was an interesting analogy. 

A colleague refers to some customers as snowflakes.

At first, I didn't get it. 

Then I understood. 

Every snowflake is unique. 

Based on how the ice crystals fall to the ground through different temperatures, moisture levels, and atmospheric pressures, the shape of every snowflake is different. 

Sometimes when it comes to project management, customers too think they are unique, different, and special.

They think that solutions that work industry- or enterprise-wide could never work for them and their wholly distinct ways of doing business. 

Hence, as I learned, the term snowflake. 

For those of us who have been around the project management block a few times, we know that while there are specific customer requirements, most of them are not all that unique. 

And when some customers simply don't want to do things differently than they've done it before, there can be greater resistance to change. 

Hence, the "We're special. We're different" reframe along with the standoffishness, doubting, circling the wagons, throwing up obstacles, or just refusing to fully participate. 

Obviously, it's a lot more difficult to modernize and transform through technology and business process re-engineering when your customers aren't on board. 

So it is critical to manage organizational change, address the questions, the fears, and elements that are truly unique, and bring the people along as true partners. 

Not every requirement is a snowflake and neither is every customer, but we have to manage the similarities and differences in every project and make sure it improves performance and meets the needs of the customer and the organization. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 19, 2018

Not So Indispensable

So I heard a story from a friend and colleague that I thought was important. 

It was about someone in their organization that was being fired. 

The person who was going to be let go went up the chain to complain and said "if I am fired then everything in my subject area is going to fall apart and it will be disastrous to the organization.

The person in charge responded and said, "Listen, even if I were fired, things wouldn't fall apart; within 2 weeks no one would even remember that I worked here!"

Wow, that is a powerful lesson said that way. 

No one is so indispensable.

Everyone is replaceable.

Even the very top people!

The other important thing they said was:

"Don't think all people are in it to advance the organization; many are in it to help themselves first! Everyone is talking about their salary!  Their stock options!  Their bonuses!"

I guess it's not completely surprising right.  People do have to look after themselves and their families. But I suppose when you hear it so matter of factly, it sort of really makes you think about the functioning of our companies, agencies, and society.

How much are we getting from people for our organizations and missions vs. how much are people trying to "milk" the system for their benefit?

In the end, (almost) no one is irreplaceable on the job--except maybe a Steve Jobs-type--someone who is truly a one in a million leader. 

And if we see people aren't contributing their fair share and are taking more than they are giving or they are real jerks and hurting others--then why the heck are they still in place? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2018

Sugarloaf Crafts Festival


I love this time of year when the weather gets nice and we can do more outdoor activities. 

Today, we took the opportunity to go to the Sugarloaf Crafts Festival. 

There were so many vendors with artistic works in metal, glass, art, jewelry, leather, photography, pottery, and more. 

Everyone seemed to be looking for those one-of-a-kind special pieces.

I did manage to find a very special colorful menorah, which I had my eye on since last year, and which I was glad that I waited for because the artisan made it even better and more beautiful than before. 

Again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and most things were an easy pass on, but some things definitely caught my eye and attention. 

The photo here was one of them where the artist was selling pots, and he set up this plastic chicken--as if the chicken was set and ready to go into the oven. 

Creativity can definitely get weird, but everyone likes a standout. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumethal)
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June 26, 2017

Shock Value Gets The Ball Rolling

There is definitely something to be said for shock value. 

When you do or say something that is S~H~O~C~K~I~N~G.

And it jolts the other person out of their daily stupor so that they really take notice. 

It's hard to stand out in a global population of over 7.2 billion people and counting. 

Everyone wants to be special, unique, have an impact, and make a difference. 

It's our answer (partially) for why we are here and why it matters.

Our life is a journey and it can be a log slog if we don't have a purpose and meaning in it all. 

We look to the One Above for guidance, meaning, love, and protection.

But we also have to look at ourselves in the mirror...what are we doing with our lives. 

Shock value doesn't mean real value...it's just the initial jolt to get noticed...like that purple and green spiked hair or those sparkly shoes you adorned. 

So you have to take the initial jolt and make it into deep impact--by touching not just a cord, but the nerves that run through. 

In Florida, there was a funny sign along the highway with that shock value that said something like this:

"Your Wife Is Hot So Call {X} To Fix Your A/C!"

What did you say about my wife? 

You know you're right, I do need to invest in better air conditioning! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 13, 2017

Off The Charts

We all know people that seem to be conflict prone--they seem to have a tendency to get into it with others at work, socially, in the family, or wherever. 

Is it that they are abnormal or bad people?

Certainly many, if not most people, want to stand out in some fashion or form.

As the shirt says:
"Being normal is boring."
We all want to be a little different or special.

If we're the same as the other 7.5 billion people out there, it's hard to feel that our lives are truly meaningful. 

Yet, being different or abnormal can be a good thing or a bad thing. 

Usually, you can be distinct in your combination of attributes within 1-3 standard deviations around the mean (average) and still be in the range of normal. 

1, 2, and 3 standard deviations equate to 68%, 95%, and 99.7% of the values in a normal bell shaped curve. 

So you can be different and still be considered normal.

The problem usually arises when you are off the charts deviant--and then you become "abnormal." 

Is abnormal a bad thing?

Not necessarily, but generally extremes of anything can tend to become problems. 

For example, you can fall somewhere in between very generous and very thrifty, but when you go to the extremes of giving it all away or being a miser then that's usually considered problematic. 

Similarly, you can be curious or indifferent and either of those may be okay, but at the extremes, if you become intrusive or apathetic then that's a problem. 

So most of the people we deal with are normal in most senses of the word, although they may have traits that take them to the extreme and which can cause conflict or harm. 

Others may have many traits that are extreme and they have severe difficulty functioning at all with other people--they are seriously off the charts. 

Perhaps, that's where healthcare professionals come in to assist with things like psychotherapy and behavioral modification (or even medications) to help people.

Being completely average is boring, but being off the charts can be dangerous to others who try to be themselves yet also constructively and humanely go along and get along. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 24, 2016

Why Can't The English Be More English

The people of the United Kingdom voted in referendum yesterday for Brexit (British exit) or independence from the European Union (EU). 

Unity is a wonderful thing when values and vision is widely shared and the burden and benefits are more or less evenly distributed. 

But in the case of the UK in the EU, the vote for independence was anchored in the unsettling issues of mass immigration from the Arab Spring, the debt crisis of many of the poorer Southern EU states (e.g. Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc.), the decision of the UK to maintain their own currency (not accepting the Euro), and culturally (and language-wise), even though they all interact with each other, the UK has more in common with the US and Australia, then they ever had with Germany, France, and the rest of Europe. 

It is really very understandable that the UK doesn't want to lose their identity and sovereignty and just be another EU state--rather than be a unique, independent, and dominant entity of it's own, charting their own course and driving their own fate. 

While it's great to a part of something bigger, sometimes being yourself is more important, and you can still interact with the rest. 

No people should be forced to become a shadow of themselves, and if the call is for independence, then that is noble call even if it is inconvenient for those who would rather call themselves the EU. 

Unity may best be by alliance rather than strict integration...one for all and all for each and every one. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 30, 2015

Emphasis On The Eyes

Really liked this picture that my daughter, Rebecca, showed me in Vogue Paris.

The lady has this amazing tattoo around her eyes.

The way the lines come out and around, flowing from the ends of her eyes, is so awesome.

The dark and exotic swirling emphasis around the blue eyes makes her look deep, mysterious, and undeniably sexy.

Mike Tyson and his facial tattoo has nothing on this model.

Also, reminds me of when Rebecca, as a kid, asked me joking around, "What does Y-E-S spell?"

Okay, how easy is that, "YES."

Then she said "What does E-Y-E-S spell?"

And not thinking, I fall for it and blurt out E-YES.

Man, you don't know how to spell EYES--stupid, stupid, stupid! ;-)

(Source Photo: Rebecca Blumenthal)
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July 19, 2015

Hippie Bus Menorah

I took this photo today of a Menorah made on the top of a VW Bus. 

Inside, the bus still had the seats, and outside it had these cute Hippie flower pedals. 

It was unique, fun, colorful, nostalgic and it rolls. 

Plus you can fulfill the commandment (mitzvah) of lighting candles at Chanukah time. 

What a novel piece of Judaica--love it! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 2, 2015

The Lights Never Really Go Off

It was interesting at work recently, when a colleague was contemplating what to do about some key person being out of the office and unavailable...

And they go: "Next man or women up--last one flips off the light."

In other words as they say, the show must go on!

So hurry up and let's get the person's deputy, "second," or the next one on the ladder read in and working on this. 

When it comes to work, we can't stop because someone is "out of pocket"--the job presuposes any particular person or persons.

While many peope think (or wish) they are irreplaceable, the truth is that with the exception of your closest family and friends, we are all just shy of, "Okay, whose up next?"

I remember a friend who told me many years ago that he believed that the whole world revolved around him (yes really), and that everyone else was "just a figment of my imagination."

Ha, I'm pretty sure that a lot of people have had a similar thought or sentiment about themselves. 

But the truth is that while everyone is unique and invaluable--there are over 7 billion of us out there and growing--so there is always someone else waiting in the wings to jump on an opportunity to fill someone else's shoes (no matter how big). 

It is a harsh world and reality--but we are here as long as we are here, and then there are others who come after. 

In a sense, this is a good thing, because as mere mortals, we don't want everything to depend on us--we are frail, we get sick, we die--but by having others who can step in and carry the flag forward, our efforts do not end with us. :-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to Niklas Morberg)
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January 4, 2015

Diamonds And Opals

I just wanted to share this photo of a beautiful ring I found in Santa Fe. 

I like the big diamond in the middle surrounded/lined on both sides by more diamonds.

What seemed really special was that it was inlaid in a setting of beautiful blue, green, and red opal gemstones. 

I asked the jeweler how much this ring was...

Couldn't believe the price tag for this was $35,000!

Probably a little steep for most people, and not exactly traditional, but in my mind, it was definitely a stand out. ;-)
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December 19, 2014

Cool Cat

So yesterday I was coming home from the fitness center/pool.

I was wearing shorts and pool shoes even though it was only in the 30's-40's temperature out. 

This large man with a Texas accent stops me to ask how I can dress like that around Winter time.

And it's particularly funny, because there is another man overhearing this conversation next to us wrapped up in no less than 2 coats/layers.

So I say in a lighthearted way "I guess that I just have warm blood, so the temperature doesn't really bother me."

He says, "Uh, in Florida, when it goes into the 60's, people start shivering and bundling up down there."

I smile, and say "Well maybe we're just different people."

Then he goes, "I like that--I like people that think different! You know why, [and he pauses and repeats again] you know why?"

I look at him sort of eyes wide open at this point waiting to hear his explanation to the build up. 

And he says, "Because it means they don't give a sh*t what other people think!"

At that point we both started nodding and laughing. 

Maybe you had to be there, but I think you can probably envision this sort of nutty scene.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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November 26, 2014

Lucky Earrings

My daughter found these lucky European earrings today from France.

- Queen of diamond playing cards

- Roll of the dice take your chance

- Lucky in love hearts

- Spicy green lucky charm hot peppers

Reminds me of something a colleague told me the other day about when your ears ring...it's right for love, and left for spite. 

Anyway, thought this was pretty good luck just finding these special earrings. ;-)

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June 21, 2013

Are They Anything Without Him?


Sometimes, one person can be so instrumental to the success of an organization that they really are, for all intensive purposes, irreplaceable.

Leadership classes and anecdotes about great leaders tell us that one of leaders primary duties is a good succession plan. 

But what happens, when a visionary place like Apple, loses their very special talent--someone that is truly their "secret sauce"--someone like a Steve Jobs--who you can't just replicate or replace (easily or maybe at all)?

While Apple still makes great products, the jury is still out on whether they can truly innovate without Job's vision, exacting attention to detail, and bigger than life persona. 

Hence, the question, are they anything without him?

Perhaps, Apple can find the next Steve Jobs--who will bring new energy and talents and keep them a great organization--or perhaps not.

This new movie about Jobs--played by Ashton Kutcher will remind us of the magic that a truly special leader can bring to an organization. 

If only there was a pill to swallow to make talented leaders--now that would be a job for Jobs. ;-)
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February 4, 2013

Parking Lot Crazy Car


One man's trash is another man's treasure--funny, interesting, weird, how does it make you feel?

This car, aside from the missing fender, window, and masking tape and cord holding it together, has got a crown of mementos on its hood and roof (aside from the stuff piled in the side and rear seat).

A collage, mosaic--artsy self expression--this car is someone's jewel. 

Almost can't believe that it still runs, but it got to this shopping mall parking lot somehow--and it manages to get its share of attention.

Wondering--is this a hoarder's mentality and does the person's home also look like this too or is this someone's big statement about their values and beliefs? 

Definitely unique, an eye catcher, and a whole different way to think of a Honda. ;-)

(Source photo: me)

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July 22, 2012

Finding Chicken Little

I was taken aback today to see this young lady walking her dog with a rubber chicken hanging off the back of her pants. 

The chicken was hanging by one leg and swinging back and forth--twisting and turning.  

I imagined that if this chicken was alive, it would be begging for mercy tied to the back like that.

Anyway, I'm not sure if this is a joke or a play toy for the dog, but it just seemed like a unique photo.

How would you caption this picture (and please keep it politically correct)?

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July 16, 2012

iPhone With Ears

Here's to a very stylish iPhone case.

As you can see it has bunny ears, and in pink nonetheless. 

No, the rabbit ears are not like on old televisions of yesteryear where they served as the antenna that you moved up, down, and around and still couldn't get any decent reception.

These ears are not for listening, but rather for e-f-f-e-c-t--style that is. 

This is some Washington D.C. cool right back at you! ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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