Who doesn’t love old buildings? They’re nostalgic and they harken back to a time when craftsmanship was king. Their attention to detail outstrips anything modern. But sometimes, those beautiful old structures outlive their components and deteriorate beyond the point of salvation. They’re too rickety and dangerous to even enter, much less rehab. It’s a pity, but occasionally, those treasures of the past have to be razed.
Ideas are a lot like buildings. In fact, the entirety of human history is the story of ideologies that captivate society in a revolutionary manner, only to eventually be surpassed and discarded following the introduction of newer, even more revolutionary concepts. The other side of that coin is that not all new ideas are sustainable. In fact, far more new ideas fit the definition of “fad” rather than “enlightenment”.
And then, there’s the stealth ideology — the one that was never really built on solid thinking and should have died on the vine but somehow crept through the cracks of rational thought and inched its way into general recognition. Let’s call today’s sneaky little untruth, the “Hey look at me” syndrome. Ask any marketing guru why you need a website, branding, social media, collateral materials, or advertising. The most common answer: “Visibility”! Can you spot the ideological chameleon staring back at you?
A Better Approach
Let’s forget “show and tell, and embrace “sit and listen.” I’m not contending that all marketing practices are inherently bad, but my question to you is this, “How’s that working for you?” In fact, that very question ought to be the key driver behind every Capitalist entity from the hotdog stand to the top Fortune 500 corporation. First and foremost, we need to understand the needs that exist before we propose a solution.
Once we’ve listened long and hard enough to understand the issues, we’re still not ready for mass marketing. We’re ready to begin product development, because a product or service which doesn’t fulfill a specific need, is just another faddish trinket, no matter how sparkly and fascinating it may be. If our product or service — whether it be marketing, manufacturing, or miracle-working — wasn’t created to fulfill a real-world need, we’re just stroking our egos.
Call in the Arsonists
Perhaps it’s time we burned down the “Hey, look at me” concept, as decorative and appealing as it’s always been. In its place we could reconstruct our dedication to problem solving, predicated on a foundation of honest listening. Maybe it’s time to start gentrifying our marketing strategies. Maybe it’s time to start gentrifying our whole approach to life and relationships. Whatever we do, it has to be different from what we’ve tried in the past because our current economic and social structures are one minor tremor away from total collapse.
(For my friends in all the three-letter government agencies who seized on that word, “Arsonists”, please note that we’re talking about burning down defunct ideologies here and not your workplace.)
Perhaps you assumed because it’s Easter, I would have written an Easter story. Instead, I’m including this link to a man who, in four minutes, tells the Easter story far more clearly than I ever could.
Give it a listen.
Easter was when Hope in person surprised the whole world by coming forward from the future into the present.
― N. T. Wright
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Evidence That Demands a Verdict
— Josh McDowell
If you can find a copy of the first edition of this book, snag it up. The book is now in it’s fourth or fifth edition and is more like a giant encyclopedia of apologetics than a book. The first edition contains the heart-felt story of a young, athiest attorney, who in the late 1960’s, set out to amass legally admissible evidence that the whole Jesus story was a hoax. His intellectual honesty, however, eventually got the best of him. The key is that he truly was seeking answers and not just self-justification.
— Brant Hansen
So, I already had this week’s article written, formatted, and sent off to Mailchimp for timely delivery on Sunday morning. Then, after patting myself on the back for being such a studious person, I had coffee with a friend Thursday morning and he began introducing me to the truth in this book. Being curious and impressed by his enthusiasm, I bought the book. I’ve never finished a book so fast and gone back for seconds. GO GET THIS BOOK TODAY!
A meeting of great minds who think alike