Thursday, October 12, 2017

The Winds Are Whipping Up From Wall Street to Washington to Hollywood

Hard to believe, but it’s just about the time when I begin crafting the Trendcast for the next year.

Trust me, there are some 2018 Trends that are rattling cages right now as brand teams start exploring options as they embark on planning missions.

Back at the beginning of August, I posted the blog about the impending Hurricane Season.  Mother Nature next followed suit.

While we read in the news about Houston, South Florida and other parts of the South, the most damage might actually be impacting Wall Street, Washington and Hollywood.

From corporate America to the American Senate to the Hollywood studios, long standing leadership is getting turned upside down.

While tornados quickly demolish and move on, Hurricanes linger long periods of time and might even double-back and demolish foundations all over again.

As I write this, America is weeks away from Election Day.

Many of you know that EXPERIENCE works with politicians and this election season is not one without involvement with a couple of election runs.

The New York Times ran an article about a week ago announcing that Independents now represents the largest political party affiliation in the U.S.

The GOP and DNC are not likely to survive in a conventional sense.  BOTH political parties are in trouble.

2017 Trendcast #3 cites the rise in Mobile Cocooning as our cultural ties not only are ones that travel with us, but ones in which many cling like an addiction to crack. 

As I write this, I am sitting in the San Francisco Coffee House in Atlanta.  There are three tables of Millennials sitting in here who are staring down at their iPhones with earphones plugged into the personal selection choice of music. 

They are not at all in tune with the environment around them.

Folks like these cannot dwell beyond their cocooned-defined world of comfort and perspective.

Many of the politicians of today sport the same behaviors… and perspective. 

The world … and local community perspective they see is defined within the confines of their mobile cocoons. 

I try to avoid the illustrations of the blind men and the elephant story where each attempted to define what they each were feeling and no one among them claimed it was an elephant.

But hey... if it works, use it.

In Atlanta, there are 13 candidates pursuing the mayor’s office.  Earlier this year there were more than 13 candidates in a race to fill a congressional office in the 6th district.

Yesterday, one of the 13 candidates pursuing the mayor’s office came and sat down at the Wednesday business roundtable that I participate in at a Panera located smack in in-town Atlanta adjacent to Piedmont Park.

There were eight of us sitting around the table discussing aspects of business. 

The candidate that came in and sat down was serving as the Chair of the Fulton County Commission and resigned the elected post to run for Mayor.  Atlanta, the city makes up about 50% of the Fulton County population.  

The candidate, who will go nameless in this blog post, spoke at great length about what he views as the priority areas that Atlanta faces and that he… as a leader of academic and government agency groups… had the gifts and core values to “take over leadership” and move the city forward.

I was entertained by his “visionary” perspective. Issues like education, transportation and community unity are not too unlike the restaurant telling customers it's the place that stands apart from others because of its hot food and clean restrooms. 

He also shared that so far in the race, he had met and served as leader of more than 3 dozen sessions with Atlanta city residents…. And he had more than 20 schedule over the next several weeks before election day. 

The more he shared in terms of his understanding of what “made up” Atlanta and what were neighborhood concerns and issues, it quickly became apparent that he was clustering with those who shared common ground in his mobile cocoon. 

Best of all the sharing that caught the stage lights was the strategy to “lead” the Millennials through social media and public events where the vision could be shared and support secured. 

But wait… when Millennials talk about “finding options where they can co-author the design, engineering, programming and experience,” my bet is that they will not connect well with a a guy that positions himself as the sole leader they need to elect to "take charge."   

When we view national politico who share their perspectives of what’s happening in America, it does not take long to guess correctly where they reside when they leave their cherished views of the Potomac. 

Not only do Birds of a Feather Flock Together, they flock with those who see through a matched set of sunglasses.

Mobile access to the Internet along with social media and posting boards has created an added dimension to the perspective of the cocoon and a false sense of direct connection with leadership and change agents as birds of a feather text one another waiting in line at the local Starbucks for their Lo-foam-no-fat-dark roast-drip-venti-latte-in-a-recycled-environmentally-approved-insultated-tumbler. 

Diversity is great and let's promote that rainbow sticker as long as those in the green agree to a similar set of perspectives and values as those in the red, blue, purple, yellow, orange ... and pink!

By the way, that candidate who took over the table yesterday morning has currently fostered and developed a committed base of 2% of the Atlanta voter base. 

Wow.  Hold back my applause.

Elections across the U.S. this year are very entertaining to watch.  

A GOP candidate who is running for the Alabama governor’s slot and does not fit the conventional GOP model beat out another primary candidate who was the cookie cutter portrait of the longtime GOP. 

Right now, the social media landscape is experiencing the high winds of the impending Hurricanes of change as the aged relics like Pelosi and McConnell are being coached by their own kin to clear way for the next round of leadership.

John McCain and Chuck Schumer should jump in with Pelosi and McConnell and start cashing in on those retirement funds.

And the press follows behind in close sync too.  

Whether its NBC, CNN, MSNBC… or FOX News, they all are in denial that the conventional news studios that sit in their thrones of New York and Washington are unconnected from the vast public majority. 

Those occupying the high-brow halls of DC continue to think that Trump’s use of Twitter is “just so juvenile.”

And while I center the blog focus on America, the same winds are rattling the cages across the UK, Germany, Spain and Mexico… all the way to Iran and China!

Did you say North Korea? 

I assert that it just might be possible that Kim Jung-on and Weinstein might be more than just Facebook Friends.   Each keeps the news media content flowing as they scrape the fallen crumbs to stay afloat!

As we begin putting together the Trendcast deck for 2018, I will give away that the marketplace is changing at a pace that might qualify as level 5 Hurricane force winds. 

The elections this year are simple pre-cursers to what will transpire in 2018. 

Corporate America, the business press and the ad-pr-integrated-digital agencies ... better start moving inland and away from the east and west coasts...

Stay tuned…