Cultural changes emerge from complexity. We cannot make those changes happen directly, instrumentally or methodically. Rather they happen to us, occur as we interact among us and come about through us. Our job is to watch for emerging shifts and play along with them. Coming up with successful business models calls for a good read on the ways that our cultural changes are emerging.
Some fantasize that media moguls or high-profile cultural icons are making cultural changes happen. If they could do their thing without needing a paying audience, it could be argued that they have power over us and control over the culture. But they are appeasing their viewers (listeners, readers, subscribers, attendees, fans, etc.) and doing what sells. Together we're in charge with the power distributed and symmetrical.
Over the weekend, I was rereading Thomas De Zengotita's insightful book: Mediated. This morning I've been pondering what cultural changes I'm sensing to be emerging from the complexity of life in the 21st century. Here's ten migratory trends I came up with:
- From the print culture transmitted via reading comprehension to an oral culture transmitted by immersive multimedia experiences
- From taking situations literally and objectively to taking situations panoramically and hypothetically
- From going to work for getting jobs done to performing roles in improvisational dramas that arise from the contingencies in each moment
- From following sequences for arriving at goals to going in iterative spirals to come from higher spaces, outlooks and premises
- From making progress and news of those advances to enacting rituals, sacred cycles and replays
- From facing reality with no choices to getting the irony of set-ups and biased presentations of reality
- From privatizing scarce mechanistic solutions to sharing abundant organic solutions
- From antagonistically defending well-defined territories to collaboratively exploring intersections between fuzzy territories
- From building up investments in fixed entities to letting go of fixations, necessities and hang-ups
- From identifying with accomplishments and results over time to being a presence that makes a difference here and now
All these trends suggest we will have many new ways to formulate value propositions. Our next generation of business models will occur in spaces that support these migrations. They will come from these better places and resonate with market demand to experience these cultural shifts.