The cultural currents of Work Revolution and Everyone’s a Creator help us understand the Earned Success code in a larger context.
Notions of status and success have broadened immensely. What we gain recognition for has become both more diverse and more niche. The path to celebrity is cheaper and easier than ever, and there are a myriad more boundary-less ways for word of success to spread. Whether the traditional sporting hero, successful entrepreneur, travelling yogi Instagram influencer or accidental YouTube sensation, everyone has the chance to be known for something these days. Tall poppies are running amok.
With the digital transformation of business, the nature of work and success today means excelling at social media and building your own ‘personal brand’, especially if you have global ambitions. This shift to shameless self-promotion is difficult for the notoriously humble Kiwi, but is the reality of the workforce today. Being a tall poppy is more likely to bring you success – it’s survival, not choice.
It’s not surprising then, that celebrating success has become more acceptable. But our Kiwi code suggests that it still needs to be dignified, authentic, done with humility and a slightly collective, patriotic spin.
Outward World View
The cultural currents of Superdiverse Mindsets and Work Revolution help us understand the Outward World View code.
The shift to daring to take pride in success is apparent in Outward World View, an emergent Kiwi code that posits that while New Zealand no longer feels isolated, we still look to the rest of the world to celebrate and validate our ‘world class’ achievements. It captures the identity transition of a Commonwealth’s younger sibling growing into an independent nation with a unique outlook, yet still needing approval from more established counterparts.
Individual expression and self-determination
This cultural code sits in the realm of Gender Freedom and Superdiversity. Within these two meta-currents are the macro-currents of Identity Remix and Dialogue.
- Identity Remix: As global citizens, globally attuned while ethnically, religiously, and socially diverse, we are forging our own identities in an ever more culturally remixed world.
- Dialogue: The need for conversation and safe platforms to express oneself and promote empathy amongst different audiences.
The Trump election and Brexit were turning points, catalysing citizen action and activism, to help people understand what’s happening and where to go next, and bringing the need for dialogue to the forefront. Global cultural currents indicate more platforms for conversation and open-ness. And if you seek it out, you can find this dialogue happening in NZ too, although with less urgency. But uncomfortable conversations are hard for Kiwis who will do just about anything to avoid conflict.
While New Zealand is considered a progressive country, we are still conservative in many ways. Auckland’s Pride Parade, for example, is very different to its overseas counterparts. At an event meant to promote sexual diversity and freedom to love whoever you want, sex was barely mentioned and bodies were almost completely covered up.
Alison Mau and Stuff launched a national #metoonz investigation into sexual harassment after a comparative lack of action in New Zealand, writing: "Since the Harvey Weinstein allegations came out in October last year, I've been watching very, very closely and reading as much as I can about what's going on worldwide and I've seen some amazing reports from the United States, the United Kingdom and even Australia. But there's been... radio silence here in New Zealand.”
The Belief in Social Equivalence code suggests that we are self-reflective as a nation but don't seem to know how to get to where we want to be. Is our ‘don’t rock the boat’ mentality an advantage or something that is holding us back?