The Future Is Feminine

June 16, 2017 | Jeff Macdonald

The future is feminine and the UK electorate just showed they agree.

As cultural experts, we have been talking for the past few years of the rise of feminine values in society. Whether it be the values and behaviours of celebs, business leaders, fashion, brands or just the acceptable norms of behavior, we have witnessed a radical shift away from the traditional, masculine dominated rules that have determined how people, brands and businesses behave. Rational, hierarchical, selfish, calculated, power-based values and actions are being replaced by something more emotional, warm, intuitive and social. Frankly, we are becoming more real and human!

This is certainly not a male vs female thing. This is just as relevant for men as it is women. It is interesting to note in both the recent Clinton vs Sanders and May vs Corbyn political votes, it was the male candidate that exhibited more of the feminine values, representing a more human, caring, honest, empathic narrative. This appealed particularly strongly to the new generation of younger voters.

Jeremy Corbyn’s empathic approach to young voters’ concerns led to a 30 seat gain for Labour in UK Parliament (Source: bbc.co.uk).

Whilst May focused on the facts around costs and offered a vision of power and a dependable, strong leadership, Corbyn instead adopted a much more human approach, where compassion, equality, fairness and collective responsibility was the mantra. One manifesto was cold and clinical, built around fear, the other much more a vision around a shared prosperity and hope. Whilst May clearly had supporters (her party still won more votes in the end), Corbyn was the one who had the truly passionate believers (especially amongst the young) who frequently turned out in large numbers and showed their public support very vocally. Again, shades of the Bernie Sanders phenomenon.

Bernie Sanders motivated a human centered reimagining of the US’s domestic policy during the Democratic Party Primaries (Source: Getty Images).

We are seeing it too, within the world of brands. The big, traditional brands (and the businesses behind them) are struggling to connect with younger consumers who are instead inspired by a more engaging, flexible and intuitive approach. New, rising stars are offering a more authentic, human proposition, with a clear and positive contribution to the world, where they actively invite people to join them and be part of building a better future. The old world of ‘big is best’ (powerful, successful, status) no longer holds. Scale is valuable only if it is used in a productive way for people and society. Again, we see a shift from masculine to feminine values.

TOMS has transformed the shoe category by bringing a radical new business model that is built from a more human, caring and collective perspective (Source: Doddshoe ).

The same is true of the behaviours within businesses. The leadership values that were valued most used to be toughness, aggression, drive, focus and ambition (largely individualistic and selfish). But in today’s connected world, with all its complexities and challenges, the shift is towards leaders who display EQ over IQ, with more openness, collaboration, humility and listening to others.

Just as Theresa May and the Conservative party have discovered, to appeal to people today you need to adopt a new approach. Femininity is the new operating system for the 21st century.

If you would like to make sure that you and your brands are in tune with this cultural shift, then join us at our upcoming London event on 29th June, ‘The Future of Business is Feminine’. Innate Motion are partnering with Collective London  to bring speakers from the likes of Toms and Hyundai who will share their experiences of how the adoption of more feminine values is enabling their businesses to grow and stay in tune with the values and culture of a new generation of consumers. You can register for your tickets here. We look forward to seeing you there!

Innate Motion are a global brand and innovation consultancy that works with many of the world’s leading businesses and brands to unlock growth through human and cultural insights. Our latest book, Beyond The Powergirl, explores future feminine identities, providing an archetypal framework to inspire people and businesses to explore the full spectrum of positive feminine values that can contribute to a better world. Play our Beyond the Powergirl Game to discover your own future feminine identity.

Originally published on The Drum.

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Posted By Jeff Macdonald

Born and raised in Scotland, Jeff now lives near London, having arrived there via Canada and India. It was whilst taking his Masters degree in Economics that he first got interested in the study of human and social behavior, subsequently applying this to global marketing roles for the likes of Nestle, Bacardi and Nokia, across a broad mix of positioning, comms and innovation projects. Understanding the reality of the complexity and challenges big global organizations operate within, Jeff seeks to help clients break free of the limits and constraints that this can create. A passionate believer in the power of ideas to inspire people to greatness, Jeff is an optimistic dreamer who enjoys helping clients to find their culture narrative to unlock the magic in their business and brands.

Contact Jeff

jeff@in8motion.com

+44 7788 300062