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Thought Leaders Unpacked -> What the Dog Saw #2: The Ketchup Conundrum

thought-leaders“Three of these shapes are the same and one is different.”

Sounds like a scene from Sesame Street, doesn’t it?

Most of us learn early on to distinguish between what is the same and what is different. What is common and what is distinct. What is universal and what is diverse.

What-the-Dog-SawWhile we have this capacity to distinguish same and different, our assumptions about where and when it would behoove us to make the observation can let us down.

Hence this week’s Gladwell chapter about the universal nature of ketchup catches us off guard.

When the mustard people and spaghetti sauce folk let go of their respective assumptions that they needed to create the universal best version for all people, they hit the jackpot. People preferred their distinct preference, whether it was brown mustard or chunky sauce.

Sometimes we want the same thing as each other. Sometimes we want something quite different.

The key is having our eyes open for either possibility—or even another, completely unexpected possibility altogether.

It was a paradigm buster to realize that people wanted diversity in their mustards and spaghetti sauces. This new frame of reference was itself broken to make room for the possibility that people didn’t actually need or want diversity in their ketchups at all.

Are you open to the possibility that the next alternative might not emerge from the current options? Think about it.

What was your main take-away from this chapter?

Each Friday I post my reflections from one chapter of What the Dog Saw by Malcolm Gladwell. If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.


Here's My Thought...


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