Change is hard, and if it's tradition then it can also be hurtful. The thing is, we often know more now than we did then, so in these cases change isn't just a whim, it's essential. Cultural attachment to the way things are can make it difficult for innovators and creatives to break through and have their concepts and ideas taken seriously. We know the way things are is not good enough, the world is full of avoidable problems, so why the resistance to change? It takes work with an ability to let go of attachment to make significant changes. It's often why we resist it. There is more to it than that, though. Culture has a bigger role to play.
The speed at which something of quality grows depends a lot on the type of culture it finds itself in. Those closest to the creator or innovator are the most important in the growth factor as they have a unique connection which is more likely to be a talking point. The culture of all the people who are connected with the innovation defines where and how the idea grows. When you see a good idea taking shape and growing in the world, be aware that it's had to break through all kinds of boundaries to get to where it is now. Unless you already have a brand that's known for good ideas and a marketing budget to sit alongside the Cocacolas and the Macdonalds of the world, it'll be an uphill adventure.
Good ideas need community interest and support. Start-up businesses often rely on donations to get them off the ground. The cultural norms that prepare people for starting a business and accept their ventures with gifts of cash support are down to the type of culture these people are in. Sometimes entrepreneurs have had to battle all the way to be accepted, other times they've been encouraged from a young age to get started. Innovation in the modern age is more necessary than ever, as the populous grows and our impact on the world and on each other grows too.
A culture is broadly defined by a set of shared values. These depend on the types of media the culture generally consume. This includes religious and spiritual media like scripture and preaching as well as news and opinion. The types of things people joke about and take seriously are also part of a culture, what is the normal and what is the odd. Large cultures like that in a country or city can be split up again into types. It is these subdivisions within larger culture that tend to be most influential when concerning an idea's speed of growth.
The first distinction to make is whether a culture is orthodox or liberal. Do they take the rules seriously, with serious consequences for not adhering to them? Orthodox cultures are difficult to have breakthroughs in because the way they think things are is deeper set than anything one person can do or say. You'll find that orthodox cultures use well known sayings and quotes to ensure their way of life goes unchallenged. To best work into this type of culture, our ideas must be presented in terms they already understand and agree with.
Liberal cultures have the same rules but they are less strict. They accept differences and are generally more tolerant. This leads to a diverse scope of people within a culture and they all have differing desires and needs. It's much harder to predict or research what liberal cultures want or will accept however they are also more likely to be accepting as well. There will be a willingness to deviate from the cultural norms if something is exciting or fun or proven to be useful.
Culture can also be looked at with the lens of individualism and collectivism. Individualistic cultures celebrate the self, are big on human rights, and have more liberal ideals. They are more tolerant of deviance from social norms and accept people for who they are. Individualistic cultures look down on dependence and value people by their ability to be independent. They are less likely to pull together to help someone out but they'll be more willing to accept someone who has an idea they want to nurture.
Collectivist culture prefers to orientate themselves in groups. They stick together in collective agendas and think in similar ways to each other. Either through job, social status, faith, or something else that defines a person, people stay in their own groups and stick to common lines of thought and action. They'll be more family based and each person will co-depend on others as others co-depend on them. Collectivist cultures don't work for just themselves but for the betterment of society. Their innovations and investments will be more about the greater good yet they can shun those who stand apart through successful ideas.
Each type of culture has its strong points and difficulties when it comes to breaking through with good innovation. The internet has enabled us to breach our local groups and reach out to cultures all over the world. Online interactions still have a lot of evolution to go through, it can be a little like the wild-west at times, however it's clear that the world needs a lot more innovation and solutions to our problems at the same time as we've never been closer to each other.
Recommended read: Valuing Technology Organisations Culture and Change
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