Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 06/20/2022
You know, I’ve been talking about polarization as much as the next person. But lately, I’ve been thinking that maybe I’m wrong. This does happen. Many of you have heard me say that I’m stunned by how stupid I was two weeks ago. I may have to change that these days to two hours.
In any case, I’ve always been an advocate of “communities,” and I have global communities, the members of which participate with me in real and virtual events, in memberships and subscriptions, in email and Zoom. Communities have characteristics in common, even though the members are very diverse. My communities believe in value based fees, advisory work, discretionary time as real wealth, and so forth. There are shared common interests and goals, even though members are coaches, consultants, experts; they work in finance, manufacturing, transportation; they live in Estonia, Argentina, and China. Communities are inclusionary, welcoming diverse people who believe in the common values.
But then there are tribes. Tribes are close-knit groups which tend to be exclusionary. They are linked by social, cultural, and political ties. The have a metaphorical totem they worship in the form of deeply seated beliefs which are overarching, unbending, and uncompromising. This can be what we call today liberal or conservative. The beliefs are intractable, not mollescent
Thus, I’m thinking that we’re really not talking about polarization so much as tribal behavior. And I don’t believe that these tribal members are the major portions of the population. The respective tribes might house about a third of the population amongst them, but that leaves two-thirds who choose not to belong and aren’t about to be “recruited.”
Loyal Starbucks people don’t go to Dunkin’ Donuts, and vice-versa (which has been proven in experiments). But a LOT of people do go to both or patronize neither. Hell, a lot of people don’t even drink coffee!
So, in the November elections, who turns out to vote? The tribes will, but will the greater community decide for the common good? We know that offering them free coffee won’t sway their vote.
When one neighbor helps another, we strengthen our communities. —Jennifer Pahlka
When strangers start acting like neighbors….communities are reinvigorated. —Ralph Nader
I believe it’s our responsibility to show our communities the value of all people, to celebrate differences, and to take a stand for acceptance and inclusion. —Julie Foudy