Every once in a while the Fashionista in me comes out and I just can’t stand myself. I’m drawn into pop culture and I love Project Runway. The contestants, the great challenges, judges and yes, even the occasional celebrity appearance is fun and at times brings dimension to the party.
This year the cast was full of caricatures, the handful of girls that knew it all and the boy that was afraid to grow up and still desperately needed his parents approval. Mondo was by far my favorite. His sense of style and design are incredible and his ability to use his weakness and vulnerability to do his life’s best work is a lesson for us all. He said he felt lead to share his heavy burden and by doing so, he was more alive and free. I like to think of it as a gift from above.
For all of you chuckling about this now, hold on. There are lessons in pop culture that should temper the way we do business and how we try to connect with each other. Brian Solis describes these cultural shifts in a recent blog posting:
1) Consumer Technology as Fashion
Technology becomes not only a way to get things done but also a personal fashion statement. I noticed when I brought my MacBook Pro and iPad to a recent meeting. I placed the iPad in reach of my client and it didn’t seem to matter that we were unable to connect to their wireless network or my 3G (Their facility was like the rock of Gibraltar.)
2) Nobodies as Influencers
It used to be that intellects were our influencers, like professors and priests. Then came big celebrities like move stars. Now, everyone is a celeb with the potential of influencing the masses…for the better and for the worse.
3) Generation Y and the Recession
According to Solis, those around the age of 25 are experiencing something of a ‘quarter-life crisis’ with many young people becoming disillusioned with traditional corporations and their government. How are they reacting? Many are doing things in the name of public service and social good rather than the rat race to make the almighty buck.
4) Web 2.0 and Open Government
A shift in a more transparent, participatory and collaborative government at all levels based on a massive distrust of the authority, disillusionment during the recession and the rise of cheap software like cloud computing and open source code. This movement helped thrust President Obama into power.
5) The Do-It Yourself Movement
Solis describes this cultural shift as a movement to do-it-yourself, which he says may be reflected in the Tea Party movement. Whether it’s home schooling or the Burning Man Festival, it’s about self-sufficiency, ingenuity and cooperation of communities. I hardly think the Tea Party and Burning Man are the same peeps…ok, so they have more in common than most of us would like to think.