A regular review of interesting cultural shifts & marketing developments as viewed through the collective lens of the Stancombe Research + Planning Team

Monday, February 27, 2012

Labour party woes


No one could have escaped the battle for power that has been playing out by our Prime Minister and her Foreign Minister. Putting aside the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of how our Prime Minister assumed her role, there is much we can learn from the toxic battle. As we have been observing for a while now, this power struggle was bound to be destructive.

There has been a huge cultural shift from ‘me’ culture (back) to ‘we’ culture; that is, the way we are talking to ourselves about who and what we are – the consumer culture around us – is telling us that we are a (functioning) group - a crowd, a team, a choir, a book club, a community, a dance troupe and in this context, a party and a government of the larger group - and we are co-creators of all of these.

Contrast this new ‘we-ness’ with the more individualistic, competitive, ‘me against them’, “it’s all about me” culture of the 80s and 90s (think about Madonna’s video for ‘Material Girl’ or Brett Easton-Ellis’s book ‘American Psycho’ as great cultural examples of “me-ness” and of course, some could say, old style politicians), with significant events of recent times (most noticeable, the GFC) that have played a part in triggering this shift away from “me-ness” cultural values.

At the end of the day, we all need to pull together to survive.

One of the key themes that is shaping the current consumer culture is a strong desire for survival. Most of us recognise that survival is predicated on a large degree of reciprocal altruism where the desire of the individual is less relevant than the benefit for the collective. In response to this, we have shifted again to the three Cs: conversation, collaboration and collective creation.

Leadership battles are not inline with the cultural norms of today. One wonders, how our politicians (regardless of political alliance) can get it so wrong?

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