Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Compartmentalized Thinking

In the 1980s, when mapmaking kingpin Rand McNally first saw the signs of coming industry disruption, what did it do?

It unleashed an all-out PR campaign to persuade carmakers and consumers to call the "glove compartment" the "map compartment."


While thinking like that might have worked in the 1950s, by the 1980s it was nothing other than magical thinking.

Magical thinking, psychologists say, is a product of Darwin's "struggle for existence." When faced with an existential threat, we look for saviors everywhere, as Rand McNally did.

Sometimes those saviors are efficiency experts; more often, salespeople; most often, marketers.

But when your industry's fragile, none of those folks can save you.

To borrow a thought from the 1990s, you have to think different.
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