2015 The Year of the Crowd
How to care for introverts
“This list (found here) of how to care for introverts still hit me like a pile of bricks.
1. Respect their need for privacy.
2. Never embarrass them in public.
3. Let them observe first in new situations.
4. Give them time to think; don’t demand instant answers.
5. Don’t interrupt them.
6. Give them advance notice of expected changes in their lives.
7. Give them 15 minute warnings to finish whatever they are doing.
8. Reprimand them privately.
9. Teach them new skills privately.
10. Enable them to find one best friend who has similar interests & abilities.
11. Don’t push them to make lots of friends.
12. Respect their introversion; don’t try to remake them into extroverts.”
This is virtually impossible. By instructing your mind not to think about hamburgers, you inevitably think about hamburgers. The same thing happens when you think about improving upon a product: you inevitably think about the product which limits your ability to see the possibilities. If you are an expert in the product — as you most likely are if your company makes the product in question — it is harder still to see possibilities. Your mind’s image is fixed on the product and competitors’ similar products. Incidentally, using crowdsourcing is unlikely to help matters. Insisting that 10,000 people do not think about hamburgers simply leads 10,000 people to think about hamburgers.
Sadly, most product innovation starts with a brainstorm (or other creative thinking activity) on the challenge of “How might we improve our hamburgers?” The result, of course, is very hamburger-ish ideas: more ketchup, less ketchup, flavourings in the beef and so on. As a result, product innovation all too often is a matter of boring, incremental improvements.
It does not need to be like this. You can be much more innovative about new products. You simply need to change the way you think about hamburgers.”
So, it’s Boxing Day (or for my U.S. friends it’s Dec. 26th)!
It’s also the big post-Christmas sales day in Canada.
And, of course, it’s also St. Stephen’s Day. My father told me I was named after St. Stephen the first Martyr but he didn’t tell me he was stoned for giving speeches that were too long and blasphemous! Ack!
(“Good King Wenceslaus looked out on the feast of Stephen. And the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even…”)
So Saint Stephen must also be the patron saint of lighthouses and not just shopping – not really that was St. Venerius the Hermit who died in the year 409 who is the patron saint of lighthouse keepers – There is no canonized patron saint for shoppers (although St. Nicholas could fill the bill!) but the patron saint for the Internet is Saint Isidore of Seville.
Good King Wenceslas looked out
On the feast of Stephen
When the snow lay round about
Deep and crisp and even
Brightly shone the moon that night
Though the frost was cruel
When a poor man came in sight
Gath’ring winter fuel
“Hither, page, and stand by me
If thou know’st it, telling
Yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?”
“Sire, he lives a good league hence
Underneath the mountain
Right against the forest fence
By Saint Agnes’ fountain.”
“Bring me flesh and bring me wine
Bring me pine logs hither
Thou and I will see him dine
When we bear him thither.”
Page and monarch forth they went
Forth they went together
Through the rude wind’s wild lament
And the bitter weather
“Sire, the night is darker now
And the wind blows stronger
Fails my heart, I know not how,
I can go no longer.”
“Mark my footsteps, my good page
Tread thou in them boldly
Thou shalt find the winter’s rage
Freeze thy blood less coldly.”
In his master’s steps he trod
Where the snow lay dinted
Heat was in the very sod
Which the Saint had printed
Therefore, Christian men, be sure
Wealth or rank possessing
Ye who now will bless the poor
Shall yourselves find blessing