How can we make sure that the vision of the destination to which we aspire doesn't start to eclipse our view of where (or on whom) we're treading as we head towards our goals?
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
She said she was constantly surprised to hear her daughter had organised entire evening plans while they were watching tv - just by texting, IM-ing, and sending emails to friends.
And it occurred to me - my god, there is a generation gap caused by technology. And so I wondered what other trends boomers might be missing.
It's just after 10:30pm right now and Hillary Clinton is leading Obama by about 6,000 votes in New Hampshire. The Associated Press has called the vote in favour of Clinton, and we're waiting now to hear the call from CNN.
Again there's a blow by blow analysis underway of the woman vote and the youth vote, and what it all means for the two front runners.
But something strange - in reference to youth today, I heard one pundit refer to voters in their 30s...is that still considered young?
My question now is how many pundits are baby boomers and how big is the gap between them and us? When the Boomers were in their 30s, they had kids who were school aged. Gen X'ers and Gen Y'ers are waiting longer to get married and have kids. We communicate more widely, but more silently. And so, is it possible the Boomers still think of us as seen but not heard?
Certainly when it comes to Iowa and New Hampshire, the impact of the 35 and under vote seems to have taken the media by surprise.
If that's the case, then I wonder what other trends and influencers we might be missing if we're relying on media pundits to be our guides?
A colleague drew my attention today to the following book, which was written by the head of one of our sister companies in the States: Microtrends, by Mark Penn.
The book's described by Bill Clinton and Bill Gates as:
"The ideas in his book will help you see the world in a new way." -Bill Clinton
"Mark Penn has a keen mind and a fascinating sense of what makes America tick, and you see it on every page of Microtrends." -Bill Gates
And the publisher summarises its approach as:
In 1982, readers discovered Megatrends. In 2000, The Tipping Point entered the lexicon. Now, in Microtrends, one of the most respected and sought-after analysts in the world articulates a new way of understanding how we live. Mark Penn, the man who identified "Soccer Moms" as a crucial constituency in President Clinton''s 1996 reelection campaign, is known for his ability to detect relatively small patterns of behavior in our culture-microtrends that are wielding great influence on business, politics, and our personal lives. Only one percent of the public, or three million people, is enough to launch a business or social movement.
Relying on some of the best data available, Penn identifies more than 70 microtrends in religion, leisure, politics, and family life that are changing the way we live. Among them: People are retiring but continuing to work. Teens are turning to knitting. Geeks are becoming the most sociable people around. Women are driving technology. Dads are older than ever and spending more time with their kids than in the past.
You have to look at and interpret data to know what's going on, and that conventional wisdom is almost always wrong and outdated. The nation is no longer a melting pot. We are a collection of communities with many individual tastes and lifestyles. Those who recognize these emerging groups will prosper. Penn shows readers how to identify the microtrends that can transform a business enterprise, tip an election, spark a movement, or change your life. In today's world, small groups can have the biggest impact.
Only one percent of the population is needed to start a movement?
If my aquaintance is any indication - or the media who questioned whether America could be ready for a black Commander in Chief - the Boomers may well be surprised in the not so distant future by a "silent" Gen X and Y coup.
Friday, January 4, 2008
Primaries are about getting out the vote. For months now, Obama has been reporting that he doesn't accept funding from PACs or lobby groups. Which means that he was raising roughly the same amount of money as Clinton - but from a larger group of people.
Still the pundits focused on gender, age and race. Keep your eye on the ball people - he had more individuals supporting him than Clinton. Less rich maybe, than her supporters, but more of them.
Wolf is calling the win dramatic. How can having more supporters pre-vote, direct experience as a community organiser (and therefore of getting people off the couch and into the street/voting booth) possibly result in a dramatic win?
Only dramatic if you're not paying attention because you don't think a 40-something black man could possibly win.
But wait - isn't that what they said about a 40-something Catholic called Kennedy?