Changing the mindset of people about something they already have an opinion about is not easy; it takes lots of money and time. Even for some businesses their well studied advertisements do not help when they try to promote something new. In many cases, change might be almost impossible. Here are three different approaches to change the mindset of people. Unfortunately, none of these ways achieved its purpose.
When Coca Cola reentered the Middle East back in the early 90s*, a story circulated among Jordanians. Coca Cola Jordan office wanted to promote their red product so they went to crowded neighborhoods and held very big events that included bands singing, giving prizes and what not. The Coca Cola press reporter was on the scene in one of these events interviewing people. He stopped a young man and asked him what he thinks about the event. The man answered “It is a lovely event. Some people came to our neighborhood, gave us red T-shirts, red bags, and even some people won red cars and we drank lots of Pepsi for free.”
I heard this story from my father. Back in the days in Jordan, there was no running water in villages. Mothers and daughters used to fetch water from a nearby well, lake or spring. Some boys used to go there as well to flirt with girls. One day, a teenage boy accidently farted in front of all the women. Everyone has heard the fart and started laughing at the young man. Since then the well was nicknamed Abu Thrat’s Well. The well took the new nickname of the boy which is ‘Farty.’ The young man felt ashamed of his new nickname and decided to travel away. Twenty years later he came back to his home town. He was so excited and happy to see his old village until he overheard a kid shouting to his peers “let’s go play near that old Abu thrat’s well.”
The Arabian Gulf countries especially Saudi Arabia and UAE spent billions of dollars to make their countries known not as just rich desert oil countries but as world leaders in tallest towers and luxurious hotels. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are competing against each others to become the Singapore of the business district and the Monaco of tourism (without the gambling) in the Middle East.
One very important reason the Arab Gulf countries are so adamant to prove themselves in any way is because they want to change the mindset of non-Arabs. Only the Arab countries refer to the gulf between the Arab Gulf countries and Iran as the Arabian Gulf. The rest of the worlds call it the Persian Gulf.
If you read the caption on the picture below you will see what I mean.
| No matter how much is being spent the world still calls it the Persian Gulf. [Click on picture to enlarge]
So, the question is why it is almost impossible to change the perception of people about an issue they already have an opinion about?
Do you know other stories in which people wouldn’t change their mindset or perception about something?
*”The Arab League boycotted Coca-Cola from August 1968 to May 1991, as part of the economic boycott of Israel.” [Source]
Yesterday, I had a potluck dinner at my boss’ house. Our team is about 10 people. Since we work on campus we do a small party to celebrate end of the semester. I work as a Web Developer for the Career Center of the University. Our website is very extensive. You can find all types of resume samples, how to dress for an interview, mocking interviews, and hundreds of other related links.
The other students and staffs I work with are very nice. I am enjoying working there a lot. But having nice coworkers is not enough to enjoy your work. The boss can really either make your job a bless or a curse.
Yesterday, my boss gave each one of the employees a frame with very touching kind words about the person. It was really a nice gesture from her. Mine is below.
Working hard pays off when there is someone who appreciates good work ethics.
I found this list worth sharing and a good reference to be read very often.
1. Ask the most creative people at work for their ideas.
2. Brainstorm with a co-worker.
3. Tape record your ideas on your commute to and from work.
4. Present your most pressing business challenge to a child.
5. Take your team off-site for a day. Or half-day. Or two hours.
6. Listen to your inner muse.
7. Play music in your office.
8. Go for a daily brainstorming walk.
9. Ask someone to collaborate with you on your favorite project.
10. Exercise during your lunch break.
11. Turn on a radio at random times and listen for a message.
12. Invite your customers to brainstorming sessions.
13. Think of new ways to reframe your challenge.
14. Remember your dreams.
15. Reward yourself for small successes.
16. Introduce odd catalysts into your daily routine.
17. Get out of the office more regularly.
18. Give yourself an unreasonable deadline.
19. Take more naps.
20. Jot down as many ideas as possible in the next five minutes
21. Work in cafes.
22. Transform your limiting assumptions into “How can I?” questions.
23. Conjure up a meaningful goal that inspires you.
24. Redesign your office.
25. Take regular daydreaming breaks.
26. Dissolve turf boundaries.
27. Initiate cross-functional brainstorming sessions.
28. Arrive earlier to the office than anyone else.
29. Turn a conference room into an upbeat think tank room.
30. Read odd books — having nothing to do with your work.
31. Block off time on your calendar for creative thinking.
32. Take a shower in the middle of the day.
33. Keep an idea notebook at your desk.
34. Decorate your office with inspiring quotes and images.
35. Create a headline of the future and write the story behind it.
36. Choose to be more creative.
37. Recall a time in your life when you were very creative.
38. Wander around a bookstore while thinking about your challenge.
39. Trust your instincts more.
40. Immerse yourself in your most exciting project.
41. Open a magazine and free associate off of a word or image.
42. Write down your ideas when you first wake up in the morning.
43. Ask yourself what the simplest solution is.
44. Get fast feedback from people you trust.
45. Conduct more experiments.
46. Ask “What’s the worst thing that could happen if I fail?”
47. Pilot your idea, even if it’s not ready.
48. Work “in the cracks” — small bursts of creative energy.
49. Incubate (sleep on it).
50. Test existing boundaries — and then test them again.
51. Schedule time with the smartest people at work.
52. Visit your customers more frequently.
53. Benchmark your competitors — then adapt their successes.
54. Enroll your boss or peers into your most fascinating project.
55. Imagine you already know the answer. What would it be?
56. Create ground rules with your team that foster new thinking.
57. Ask stupid questions. Then ask some more.
58. Challenge everything you do.
59. Give yourself a deadline — and stick to it.
60. Look for three alternatives to every solution you originate.
61. Write your ideas in a notebook and review them regularly.
62. Make connections between seemingly disconnected things.
63. Use creative thinking techniques.
64. Invoke Free the Genie
65. Use similes and metaphors when describing your ideas.
66. Have more fun. Be sillier than usual.
67. Ask “How can I accomplish my goal in half the time?”
68. Take a break when you are stuck on a problem.
69. Think how your biggest hero might approach your challenge.
70. Declare Friday afternoons a “no-email zone.”
71. Ask three people how they would improve your idea.
72. Create a wall of images that inspires you.
73. Do more of what already helps you be creative off the job.
74. Laugh more, worry less.
75. Remember your dreams — then write them down.
76. Ask impossible questions.
77. Eliminate all unnecessary bureaucracy and admin tasks.
78. Create a compelling vision of what you want to accomplish.
79. Work on hottest project every day, even if only 5 minutes.
80. Do whatever is necessary to create a sense of urgency.
81. Go for a walk anytime you’re stuck.
82. Meditate or do relaxation exercises.
83. Take more breaks.
84. Go out for lunch with your team more often.
85. Eat lunch with a different person each day.
86. Ask for forgiveness, not permission.
87. Invite an outside facilitator to lead a brainstorming session.
88. Take more risks outside of the office (i.e. surf, ski, box etc.)
89. Ask for help when you need it.
90. Know that anything is possible.
91. Find a mentor.
92. Acknowledge all your successes at the end of each day.
93. Create an “idea piggy bank” and make deposits daily.
94. Have shorter meetings.
95. Try the techniques in Awake at the Wheel.
96. Don’t listen to or watch the news for 24 hours.
97. Make drawings of your ideas.
98. Bring your project or challenge to mind before going to bed.
99. Divide your idea into component parts. Then rethink each part.
100. Post this list near your desk and read it daily.