In a recent Working Paper, Jared Weiner highlighted the evolution of several personal, professional and sociopolitical venting outlets. From all of our research, we have seen several factors leading to what we call “the reinvention of venting.” The reinvention of venting is profoundly changing social, political and cultural expression. What it means to express oneself or share opinions in an open forum is shifting dramatically – thanks in part to the enormous growth of social media.
This trend is putting a spotlight on the realization that consumers (or people in any context) will be resourceful in finding ways to channel built-up energies into any readily available outlets. Look, for instance, at the newly-popular YouTube video entitled “Target Ain’t People” by the group MoveOn. Angry at Target’s donation of over $150K to a conservative candidate for Governor of Minnesota, a flash mob descended on the big box retailer and … sang!
In the end, the real story is that organizations and individuals have no place left to hide. They are made visible in the new wave of documentaries, like Michael Moore’s “Roger and Me” and “Sicko,” to Robert Kenner’s “Food, Inc.,” or in demonstrations like the rise of the Tea Party, or in the countless websites that comment, expose and attack. Venting is being totally reinvented, and that will change everything from human resource management, politics, law, international relations, board governance, marketing and business practices to individual and organizational reputation.
A few months back, we introduced the Transposition of East & West as a pervasive trend in which there is a two-way influence of not only traditional Western values, traits, and characteristics on Eastern cultures (via “Westernization,” or “Americanization”) – but traditionally Eastern values, traits, and characteristics on Western cultures to an extent perhaps unforeseen in recent times. Eastern cultures traditionally perceived as more conservative are opening up, while Western cultures traditionally viewed as more progressive are becoming more restrictive.
Last summer, WEB authored an important working paper called The Transposition of East & West. Based on some relevant recent happenings, now is a great time to revisit the theme.
Currently, we are seeing a two-way transposition of not only traditional Western values, traits, and characteristics on Eastern cultures (via “Westernization,” or “Americanization”) – but traditionally Eastern values, traits, and characteristics on Western cultures to an extent perhaps unforeseen in recent times. This bilateral shift is happening in profound ways. Indeed, not only is the world’s economic influence shifting, but core values – as they pertain to civil liberties, religion, education, and technology – are also in flux. Eastern cultures traditionally perceived as more conservative are opening up, while Western cultures traditionally viewed as more progressive are becoming more restrictive.
Companies and organizations that operate globally will now have to navigate a new landscape when managing cultural norms within the global workforce, with global professionals, and among the global consumer market. Norms, values, and expectations have shifted. The terms “free market,” “civil liberties,” “innovation” and “gender equality” will be among the many that will no longer conjure up stereotypes of governments, populations, corporations or regions. East/West mixes of management, policymakers, board directors, committee members and marketers, designers and product developers will become extremely beneficial if any significant-sized entity wants to remain nimble and viable as it navigates through this transposition.