Five years ago in an advertising trade magazine, I wrote a column asking if brand purpose had “jumped the shark.” As the founder and CEO of a purpose marketing consultancy, I was reacting to a Saturday Night Live skit that featured brand managers of Cheetos being pitched by rival agencies. One of the agencies just wants to show kids having fun and snacking; the other agency pitches increasingly absurd purpose-centered advertising tropes like immigration, racial inclusiveness, and transgender rights while touting the cheesiness (no pun intended) of the Cheetos brand. This skewering of purpose-washed commercials was a bit too much on the nose.
We’ve exchanged our biases for the word, “culture fit”. He wasn’t a culture fit, she wasn’t a culture fit. But at the heart of that phrase – what are we hiding?
The issue of diversity and inclusion in tech is what designers call a wicked problem. It’s a cluster of systemic and individual biases, compounded by years of denial, complicated by changing socioeconomic forces. Still, that’s no excuse — especially since Silicon Valley prides itself on solving impossible problems, and given its exceptional influence in the business community and around the world.
Let’s face it – we’re headed toward an official recession. It’s a different kind of recession – one that was produced on purpose instead of experienced by accident. But it’s a recession nonetheless. And with unemployment claims at their highest level since the Labor Department started tracking the data in 1967 and projections from the medical field that prolonged or intermittent social distancing may be necessary into 2022, it’s likely the economy will be disrupted for quite awhile. What should you do to prepare your business?
Your money or your life? That’s the age-old question… usually asked by “highwaymen” a.k.a. robbers. Well, COVID-19 is a new kind of highway virus, and we’re asking, “Our lives, or our money?” Well, I’ll give you a typical MBA answer: It depends.