Cultural Creativity at Work

Share your ideas about responsible business practices, conscious consuming, social responsibility, the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) and sustainability. 

Monday, July 17, 2006

Recreating Business and a New World

Cultural Creatives shift the paradigm of business to something the whole world can profit from

(Written for The Twin Cities Green Guide 05/01/06 14:58)

Business has a bad name.

Let’s face it. When we think of business, don’t we imagine stuffy white men in business suits doing whatever it takes to make the extra buck? Don’t we imagine laying off workers to preserve middle management, reducing wages to the point where they can barely sustain an individual let alone a family, dumping waste wherever it’s convenient? When we think of sales, don’t we picture the slick grinning used car salesman who can’t wait to take us for a ride?

There’s a reason we have these images of business in our minds. It’s because this is how business has been done for centuries, even millennia. A new group of consumers and entrepreneurs has been identified who have something different in mind. They’re called the Cultural Creatives.

Paul Ray and Sherry Ruth Anderson evaluated American surveys and identified three subcultures: Traditionals, Moderns and Cultural Creatives – and at the heart of these subcultures is a common set of values, or “what would make the world a better place” and result in certain lifestyle characteristics.

In a nutshell, Traditionals are nostalgic of the past, believing we’d be better off with stay-at-home-moms, religion and more conservatism. Moderns are very present focused, engulfed in work-family-work-family-work-family – a sort of non-stop, rigorous attempt to climb the corporate ladder to make their lives more secure with the car, the house, their retirement and material possessions. The Cultural Creatives, while operating in a society dominated by these two lifestyles – and sometimes with one foot still inside one or tiptoeing both subcultures -- are creating a new ways of living: one that is generally more sustainable, healthy, soulful and beneficial to every living thing on the planet.

Paul and Sherry estimate that there are over 50 million Cultural Creatives in the United States alone. That’s over ¼ of our adult population, a healthy slice who live right here in the Twin Cities Area.

And they’re ready to make a difference. Here’s how:

Cultural Creatives are willing to spend more on products and services that are ecologically sustainable.

Cultural Creatives insist on relationships are authentic in all aspects of life: in friendships, at home and at work.

Cultural Creatives emulate and support the more feminine forms in the workplace, such as communication, nurturing and balance.

Cultural Creatives are interested in the big picture of how business is conducted and are not satisfied with the information they see in commercials, in the news or in other popular media.

Cultural Creatives have made the connection between spirituality and their work – which makes them very powerful, influential movers and shakers in the business world.
Contrary to what we have imagined about business, Cultural Creatives are not satisfied with success being measured from the bottom line – but instead, from the triple bottom line: people, planet and profit. The sheer size of the Cultural Creatives population has already affected the way we’re conducting business, such that they are both creating socially and environmentally responsible businesses and driving the demand for products and services created by such businesses.

So get ready for some exiting changes. The Cultural Creatives are becoming aware of one another through publications like Yes!Magazine, informational sites like and grassroots gatherings like those sponsored by The Cultural Creatives Business Network, the national association-style networking group based on values instead of location, gender or industry.

In the end, the real bottom line is about relationships: between each other, between our planet and ourselves and between our awareness and the choices we make. Our life on this planet depends on it. And Cultural Creatives are going to give their relationships center stage.


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