For my year-end review I present you with a cheeky metaphor. It serves to highlight the concept that we think differently based upon our diverse environmental and cultural underpinnings. Thinking affects our behavior.
In a previous post I talked about how the sales and marketing groups attract individuals who gravitate towards different ways of doing things-- and how understanding those characteristics can come in handy to relate to each other and do great work. Work that produces results and adds to the bottom line.
In that post I mentioned various methodologies used to uncover personality and typology styles. In Europe, and particularly in Italy, discussions of astrology and horoscopes are very common, especially when meeting new people-- and particularly when we talk with people we like [more Made in Italy on food and music.]
So I thought of combining behavioral science and astrology -- I know you're all reading your 2007 horoscopes right now -- and have some fun at everyone's delight. As in every successful research project, the most important piece is asking the right question. Marketers are more curious and creative, and understand that their work is part art, part science.
In the spirit of inquiry that distinguishes marketers *and* bloggers, here's the question that will allow us to learn more about each other and survive the next twelve months: how many (insert your zodiac sign here) does it take to change a light bulb?
ARIES -- Only one, but you will need lots and lots of light bulbs. Your element is fire, your planet is Mars, and your color is red. Famous Aries? Leonardo da Vinci, Giacomo Casanova, Vincent Van Gogh, and Charles Baudelaire.
TAURUS -- None; people born under this sign don't like to change anything. Your element is earth, your planet Venus, and your color green. Famous Taurus? Al Pacino, Uma Thurman, George Clooney, Sigmund Freud, and Elizabeth II.
GEMINI -- Probably two. They will wait until the weekend, but in the end the light bulb will the center of the attention, it will speak French and will shine a light of your favorite color when you walk into the room. Your element is air, your planet Mercury, and your colors yellow and purple. Famous Gemini? Angelina Jolie, Marilyn Monroe, Thomas Mann, Dante Alighieri, and Jean-Paul Sartre.
CANCER -- Only one; but they will need some therapy to overcome the trauma. Your element is water, your planet the Moon, and your color is white. Famous Cancers? Marcel Proust, Giorgio Armani, Lady Diana, Ernest Hemingway, Tom Cruise, Gisele Bundchen, and Gina Lollobrigida.
LEO -- A Leo does not change light bulbs. At most, a Leo will hold the light bulb while the world revolves around them. Your element is fire, your planet is the Sun, and the color is golden yellow. Famous Leos? Luis XIV, Napoleon I, Alfred Hitchcock, Andy Warhol, Charlize Theron, Dustin Hoffman, and Ben Affleck.
VIRGO -- Well, let's see. One to prepare the light bulb, one to record when the light bulb malfunctioned and the date in which it was purchased. Another one to decide whose fault it is if the light does not work, and ten to clean the house while the others change the light bulb. Your element is earth, your planet is Mercury, and your color is gray. Famous Virgos? Ingrid Bergmann, Cameron Diaz, J. W. Goethe, Hugh Grant, Sean Connery, and Greta Garbo.
LIBRA -- To tell you the truth, I would not know... I think it depends on when the light bulb stopped working. Maybe only one will suffice if it was a common light bulb. Two if that person doesn't know where to find a new light bulb. And which is the best light bulb? There are many questions to ask and lots of anxiety about it. Your element is air, your planet Venus, and your colors are pastels. Famous Libras? Catherine Zeta-Jones, Monica Bellucci, Oscar Wilde, John Lennon, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
SCORPIO -- Who knows? Why do you want to know? Are you from the CIA? Your element is water, your planets Mars and Pluto, and your colors are red and black. Famous Scorpios? François Voltaire, Pablo Picasso, Indira Gandhi, Leonardo Di Caprio, Julia Roberts, and Bill Gates.
SAGITTARIUS -- The sun is shining, the weather is nice, we have our whole life ahead of us and you worry about a silly light bulb? Your element is fire, your planet Jupiter, and your color is dark red. Famous Sagittarius? Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Friedrich Schiller, Ludwig Van Beethoven, Nostradamus, Pope John Paul XXIII, and Christopher Colombus.
CAPRICORN -- None; Capricorns don't change light bulbs because with a good and healthy chat, the light bulb will understand that it needs to change itself. Your element is earth, your planet Saturn, and your color charcoal gray. Famous Capricorns? Mel Gibson, Mao Tse-tung, Ricky Martin, Marlene Dietrich, and David Bowie.
AQUARIUS -- Hundreds of them will compete to establish who among them will be able to give light back to the world. Your element is air, your planets Saturn and Uranus, and your color is midnight blue. Famous Aquarius? Vasco Rossi, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Jules Verne.
PISCES -- Why, was the light missing? Your element is water, your planets Neptune and Jupiter, and your colors are turquoise and sea green. Famous Pisces? Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Arthur Schopenhauer, Ornella Muti, Sharon Stone, and Cindy Crawford.
Well, that was fun. What have we learned? It's important that we pay attention to what different people respond to as we engage in conversations with them-- they can be our customers, colleagues, peers, family, friends, etc.
In the course of our daily lives, we each fulfill different roles: we can be at the same time siblings, marketers, writers, managers, and social butterflies. Each of our roles has many activities associated with it.
When we are aware of how our skills, interests, values, and beliefs are integrated and utilized in the tasks at hand, we are more capable of negotiating the relationships we build while having clarity of purpose in activities that are meaningful to us. That will allow us to make meaning of situations more readily while we shape our roles.
Understanding how others have constructed their roles, allows us to get our message through, learn how to communicate change, and choose the right medium to do so (email, radio, letter, ads?). It can also help in figuring out how people make decisions and how they buy.
What will be in the stars for 2007? I predict more offline collaborative projects born during online conversations.
For a sneak peak of what is to come, I encourage you to bookmark the following blogs (if you have not already done so): More Minimal, Manage to Change, Marketing Headhunter, Innovation Zen, Management Craft, Here be Monsters, and All Things Workplace. They are already stars in the blogosphere.