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October 10, 2008

Revolution and resurrection

Very few structures stay standing indefinitely. Even fewer stay standing intact in their original form.

As European stock markets plunge markets are in a state of panic selling, with many a UK Council facing the fact their cash is trapped in foreign banks.

What's being spelt out is uncertainty, even for our closest communities.

This brings with it a new awareness - an awareness that affinities are stronger than structure, but affinities have to some extent been eroded by too much orchestration in a quest for management opportunity.

One could argue that, at the most basic level, it's over-engineering that has been at the heart of these troubled times.

In any case the net effect is that trust is on the ropes. Instinctively, we feel a need to stay close to the things that matter to us. What comes to the fore in difficulty is the need to protect and feel protected.

This week sees the launch in the US of Seth Godin's new book Tribes. It offers stories of revolution and hope of resurrection.


Tribes are primal structures. They're bonded by creed and choice, not by management imperatives.

Corned beef gave way to a return to scratch cooking once the thrill of being able to manufacture food subsided a few decades ago, and so it is with business today.

We're learning in this economic collapse that wealth generation needs to become a lot more personal to achieve a re-balanced economy. It needs traction and not just thrust.

My good fortune of the last two months has come from having been able to be an active participant in Seth's online tribal experiment - Triiibes - a learning community launched online (by invitation only at the moment) back in July. Next week I'll be at the US book launch in New York with many a tale to tell from my tribal compadres. Even though we come from all around the world, as a tribe, we're close. In marketing terms, Tribes marks a shift of revolutionary proportions.

We are seeing seismic shifts in markets and marketers need to respond. Tribes offers tales of a new kind of leadership, a safe haven and firmer ground for the future.

And as a ticket out of near-death economic experiences and market upheaval, it's a safe bet being tribal is going to be a better way forward than many others.


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