I have spent an adult life thus far doing a good deal of exploring. I have explored the human experience and human culture. I have explored academic approaches to human understanding. I have explored the practice of turning human and cultural insights into extremely valuable business, brand and marketing strategy. I have explored the nuances of sociology and culture within the professional spaces of marketing research and brand / product strategy.
I have also done a lot of reading. As I know all of these authors (and others I know have unconsciously left out and will fill in later) have influenced my point of view, I thought i would mention them here in no particular order: Watts Wacker, Grant McCracken, William Gibson, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Daniel Pink, James P. Carse, Patricia Sunderland and Rita Denny and anyone who has written really good Arthurian Legend.
The result as it stands today has led me to awareness of a guiding principle that drives both my personal and professional ambitions:
Culture – the force that drives change in humanity – comes from instances whereby time-sustaining traditions are given new relevance and resonance by a such unfamiliar twists and movements we view as “deviance”.
Deviance is what busts the boundaries enforced by a society and brings new vision and traditions. By understanding the boundaries of a society, one can know with a good amount of certainty where the next deviance will come from. And if one understands the traditions associated with the inhabitants of that society, one (or a collection of “ones”) can begin to simultaneously predict and influence culture.
It is this awareness of the reality that we (researchers,marketers, innovators and others interested in a blog like this) can have this influence, that drives our passion. At least I believe it’s what drives mine.
It’s why for my career path I chose to practice Consumer Anthropology, which studies the sociological constraints of consumer society to enable tactical understanding of human culture.
This pursuit of human and cultural insight not only helps me deliver highly valuable strategic implications and recommendations to my clients, but in doing so to also have the opportunity to influence human culture toward a bigger goal – perpetuation of the game for all fo us to enjoy.
It is why I have chosen to accept a role as VP of Consumer Anthropology at Northstar Research Partners (http://www.nsresearch.com/) beginning in January 2011. By doing so, I will joining an army of individuals whom I believe to be truly passionate and innovative researchers and humans.
Northstar Research Partners is a team that has proven itself time and again to be harnessing its collective power to deliver great work and I am excited by the opportunity to help lead this team and our clients to even more rewarding opportunities for strategic growth.
– Again – for all of us.
Cheers to change! Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. May we all truly be thankful for our opportunity to be human, and go in to the coming (and every) new year with renewed energy and passion!