Picked up How Customers Think by Gerald Zaltman for a little light beach reading…uh, no.  Interesting stuff though.  And it has so much to do with everything we’re trying to do.  Basic premise?  Lack of awareness of how customers really think is behind some huge misses in the world of marketing (and a lot more).

"Most marketing managers operate from a paradigm–a set of assumptions about how the world works–that prevents them from understanding and serving customers effectively (p. ix)."

Guess what…they’re not the only one.  This is one of those books that can take a little longer to read but gets marked up plenty.  Lots here that will make it into my thinking this summer.  Noting that one of the most damaging patterns in considering new ideas is premature dismissal, Zaltman introduces a practice that will definitely make it into my set of basic questions:

We must suspend our judgment of an unfamiliar idea when we first encounter it and ask ourselves, "Would we value this idea if it were true?"

Can you see yourself adding this question?