The Importance of Our Mental Frames of Reference

I firmly believe that our perspective, the way we look at the world, our lives and our work, limits our ability to innovate. But I also firmly believe that “changing perspective” is not that difficult with the right tools. Our brain doesn’t resist when nudged properly.

This is true when developing positioning strategies and this is true when uncovering insights.

Many, many years ago, I went to Japan for vacation. I remember being in this tiny bar in Shibuya at 1 am drinking with and talking to a Japanese friend when he made me realize that the Asian’s perspective of the world  (also expressed by their maps) is quite different than the one we have in the “West”. Sounds obvious in hindsight but how often do we think about that. And act upon it.

In marketing, we call this “empathy”, the ability to see the world from another person’s perspective without judging and without necessarily having to agree with that point of view.

This world map with Antartica at the center is another great visualization of this point. Strangely familiar yet different.

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