A few months ago, a blog with the title “Eat Predictable for Breakfast” appeared in my inbox. The timing seemed a little spooky since I had just finished a conversation about differentiators and how to pique curiosity with content that just can’t be ignored. I have no idea how this blog got to my inbox, but its message resonated by asking questions like, “What if your weirdness was the key to changing everything? What if the outrageous, imaginative, crazy ideas that live inside your wildest dreams are actually there on purpose to help others?”
I had to learn more, so I followed the link to the website of its author, CJ Casciotta. A few weeks later, another email appeared from CJ. This time it was an offer for his Weird Thinking Field Guide. I have a vague recollection about a note that said it was self-published and available free with a small payment to help cover the shipping cost. A charming bubble pack envelope with many stamps arrived a few days later, and I read the 99-page Field Guide in one sitting.
The Weird Thinking Field Guide has 13 exercises to help teams accomplish four things:
- Harness what makes you weird
- Gather people around it
- Create a manifesto
- Lead to cultural change
Exercise 1 is titled “The Misfit’s Journey” and begins with two boxes to fill in. The first is your audience’s backstory (the pain they feel) and the second is your audience’s quest (the thing they want). As CJ eloquently explains, the weird movement’s role is to empathize and empower.
Jumping ahead a bit, exercise 13 is titled “Mind the Gaps.” The exercise is intended to identify where reality doesn’t measure up to aspirations. Great quotes are scattered through the guide, and many are familiar. One of my favorites is from Zig Ziglar: “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.”
The Weird Thinking Field Guide addresses the challenge of thinking strategically by providing accessible tools to help break through sameness to “find the weird.” In what now appears to be the perfect two-step marketing approach, the Field Guide whet my appetite for CJ Casciotta’s new book, Get Weird – Discover the Surprising Secret to Making a Difference. The cover includes this quote from Seth Godin, “Reassuring, moving, and practical, this book will help you embrace the magic you’ve always had.” I just reached chapter 12 – “Move Toward the Monsters.” If the monsters don’t get me, I’ll be writing again soon about this inspiring series.
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