Updated: Jan 3, 2021
One of the most striking differences between the three societal subgroups, Paul Ray has identified is, their response to cultural change.
Millennials and teens clamber for change while many Baby Boomers dig in their heels. Gen Xers seem to take a middle-of-the-road approach. For sure this is a generalization, but it will help to make an important point.
Imagine placing the three social subgroups on a clock face (not digital) with Traditionalists in the three o’clock position, Modernists at six o’clock and Cultural Creatives at nine. Each of these positions represents where that particular social group falls when it comes to their ability to adapt to emerging changes— not just social trends. This also includes economic, spiritual, environmental and personal wellbeing. Because I have been around for such a long time, I have had the opportunity to witness this amazing shift.
Traditionalists, as the name implies, do not embrace change. Their old-school Industrial Age mentality, conservative politics and extreme religious beliefs keep them in fear-based thinking. As Darwin theorized 200 years ago, this group is shrinking rapidly as they are literally dying off.
Modernists believe in materialism and financial success as their highest priority. They are not radically religious, self-actualizing nor idealistic. Instead they want things to make sense, so they tend to be logical, analytical, reasonable and curious about how things work. They support climate change, but are not particularly motivated to sacrifice hard-earned comforts. Standing at six o’clock their job is to maintain the status quo. Because this group controls the mainstream media, their values appear to prevail within our present culture.
Cultural Creatives advocate, mediate, campaign and inspire others to take action toward change. Their focus is not on their job and financial materialism, but on adventure travel, family and relationships, human rights, green values, and self-actualization. Although their focus is not on material wealth, they do not have financial problems and tend to be optimistic about the future. Realizing how much their grass-roots movement has grown, they are speaking out and stepping into their power to affect change.
Especially in Europe, this social shift is emerging in the business sector. Instead of entrepreneurs, the leaders of these new companies call themselves innerpreneurs. Their business model ‘bottom line’ is values over profits. They operate on the idea that if their employees and customers are the business leaders’ first priority, everyone thrives.
Imagine how this movement could change the new economy.