Fellow CPBer, German Dziebel, sent me this interesting note about how to catagorize people.
In 1950 sociologist David Riesman published a book with a paradoxical title The Lonely Crowd. He identified two kinds of people: inner-oriented and other-directed. Inner-oriented people followed their internal gyroscope, while other-directed people used a then-new powerful military gadget called “radar.”
Gyroscope people tend to follow tradition, they keep intact early childhood memories and grow up confident and often headstrong. Radar people are sensitive to the expectations and preferences of others. Radar people seek love, not so much respect. For the post-World War II U.S., Riesman predicted the submersion of gyroscope mentality and the rapid advancement of the Radar people with the corresponding rise of the importance of leisure, entertainment, consumerism, and creativity.
We are all very happy to be those Radar people. These two kinds of people may represent different business strategies that are equally appropriate depending on the particular time and place. Keith Biondo ponders, “Do [companies] navigate their way to survivability and prosperity by bouncing off you -- their customers -- providing anything and trying everything to that purpose? Or do they stay true to their gyroscope, their core expertise, offering select solutions, seeking to outflank economic privation by out-niche'ing the competition and becoming a long-term trusted partner to their customers?”
A company with a strong ongoing momentum may opt for the gyroscope strategy for it develops faster than the rest of the economy and tends to spawn its own loyal customers; a company going through a crisis has to be able to be flexible, somewhat flirtatious, and try different ways to respond to the demands of the customers.