Schlagwort-Archive: Metaphor

The brand stamp – the ideal metaphor for cultural imprint

Common sense is influenced, when you daily take in fictional images of the media that are internalized by the mind like all other experiences – the self-healing powers of righteousness, the role models that achieve everything and the prescribed Hollywood happy ending. At the same time, you are shaped by the practical actions and behaviors, which take place around you. All this burns in permanently. In the end, you will not get rid of it. This makes the brand stamp an ideal metaphor for cultural imprint.

The cultural stamp becomes apparent in the things of everyday life: the context, the actions, the typical skills, the shared beliefs, the established roles and the perceived affiliation.

  • Affiliation
    The sense of belonging is the most sustainable pattern that anchors one in a particular culture. In the own team one is identified by the same shirt and the shared attitudes. This excludes all others who do not belong – especially those who emphasize their own identity. The attachment with one’s own group creates security and is maintained, for example, by a common symbol or shared rituals. This most primitive coinage is the hardest to change, if at all.
  • Role
    Actually, there are similar roles in all cultures – family, religious, social, economic or technical roles. Fearful little minds overlook these similarities and pour oil into the fire of the differences again and again. Although roles provide a good basis for a better understanding of the various cultural imprints. How is the Imam different from the priest or rabbi? How is the little sister (小妹妹) different from the Arab sister (شقيقة) and the sister in Mexico? The roles provide a good starting point for change.
  • Conviction
    The beliefs are the mental guiding principles fir everybody. They include values, mission, vision, strengths / weaknesses / opportunities / threads, goals and anything else that influences opinion- or decision-making. However, we never share all beliefs with other people. The individual properties lead to ever new, unique character traits. It is not enough to limit yourself to the stereotypes of the roles. The actual variety creates a large number of options, of which only a small number become reality. That’s why you have to watch closely and look for creative solutions. Change becomes possible, when the convictions start to shake and new mental conclusions emerge.
  • Capabilities
    While not all capabilities (I.e. skills, knowledge, experience) result from a formal education, these talents are always the basis for the desired outcomes. Skills include elementary sensory-motor (e.g., movements), cognitive (e.g., arithmetic, reading), cognitive-motor (e.g., writing, music-making), social (e.g., dealing with others), and perceptual (e.g., pattern recognition, kinesthetic differences). The knowledge consists of a variety of technical and general knowledge, the experience and the insights that are acquired in the course of practice. The key to new skills is persistent learning. Change can be prepared relatively easily with appropriate training.
  • Actions
    To better understand the cultural imprint, the actions are observed. This can be done by direct or hidden observation. The actions carried out can be interpreted based on the activities (e.g. planning, discussion, production or reporting), the linguistic expression (e.g. the expression of beliefs, desires, intentions, states), and the choice of words (e.g. key, stigma, abstract words and synonyms) as well as the style (e.g. gesture, facial expression, posture, volume, and tone). Through clever task distribution and a conscious corporate wording as well as a special code of conduct changes can be introduced easier
  • Context
    The context describes the environment in which one acts. This includes people (e.g., professionals, character heads), places (e.g., cities, architectural styles, and infrastructure) and things (e.g., vehicles, IT, gadgets). To which extent actions, abilities and values ​​are appropriate, can be determined through the context. Sometimes you have to adjust it, so that the desired changes take effect.

Bottom line: The cultural imprint has a great influence on the activities that are carried out. Roles bundle the individuals into a manageable number of groups, who feel connected to each other. The beliefs mainly include the values that have an effect in the role. Capabilities are the prerequisite for the actions that take place in a particular context. The responsible person for the change needs to take all these aspects into account to actually make a difference. Just as a branding can only be removed with a lot of effort, it is difficult to get rid of its original coinage. This makes the brand stamp to an ideal metaphor for cultural imprint.

Crossroad – the ideal metaphor for a decision

When the working world gets rearranged, the basic conditions seem to change fundamentally. Yet start-ups have always relied on the limitless dedication of their employees, based on the hope of being involved in something very big that will eventually pay off. Then comes the moment that had cost Ronald Wayne retrospectively almost 100 billion US dollars (as of May 2018). As one of the three Apple founders, he sold his 10% stake shortly after its founding in April 1976 for 800 dollars out of fear of liability obligations. In retrospect not necessarily the best decision. However, it clarifies the consequence of a real decision that nowadays many employees with Virtual Stock Options in newly established companies are facing – a bird in the hand is better than two in the bush. Sometimes you have to choose one from several options for yourself – with all the related consequences.

Based on crossroads, some difficulties can be shown.

  • Alternatives force a decision
    In the simplest case one chooses from two possibilities. One path leads to the left and the other to the right. The unpleasant is the sacrifice of the possibility that you let go. There are other conceivable solutions – not left or right, but off roads cross-country. As soon as you become aware of this, there are endless possibilities to choose from. In any case, one has to decide for one.
  • Foresight is an important factor
    The choice of the way is made easier, if you can well oversee the further way on a clear summer day. You rarely see all the way to the end, but at least the next few meters are clear. The likelihood of crashing surprisingly is close to zero. It is another case, when there is thick fog. You can hardly see your hand in front of your eyes, let alone the way or where it goes. Now the decision involves a much higher risk that the way ends after a few meters at an insurmountable hurdle. Unfortunately, a normal decision-making situation is more like thick fog. The futures you envision are always assumptions, since the needed facts have not yet condensed to a reliable picture of the future. Nevertheless you have to decide – and be it that you freeze.
  • The mood affects subconsciously
    If you are front of a crossroad on a Sunday walk, then you will make a relaxed decision and won’t be annoyed, even if you have chosen the longer or harder way. In the worst case you go back to the crossroad and take the other way. Quite different when you are on the run. The pressure increases, because you are rushed. Now a crossroad can be crucial to the outcome because you can not go back – either because of the lack of time or because, in the meantime, facts have been emerged that are irreparable. In your own interest, it is generally recommended to take the pressure out of the decision-making in order to make the best possible choice.
  • The decision power does not make it easier
    As long as you have the full decision power, you can actually decide as you think it is best. And still, it’s usually difficult to choose – especially, if there are two attractive alternatives. It is not surprising that in case of a wrong decision, individuals use the back door of externalization – to blame the circumstances or other people for the own decision. It gets really difficult when the others are even involved. In this case, the interests of all decision makers must be reconciled. Often, their actual expectations remain unnoticed – what should be done; what should be the result; what should be the consequences. It’s best to put all your cards face up on the table and decide then based on all facts.

Bottom line: We are certainly not talking about the expensive decisions that Ron Wayne made. Well? – Who really knows. It is important to understand that decisions function like the bifurcations of a path – you can not go both ways at the same time. And then the remaining, innumerable alternatives to go off roads. The decision depends largely on foresight, mood and decision-making power. In any case, one should decide and be satisfied with the choice, like Ron Wayne, who said in retrospect “I would have been wealthy, but I would have been the richest man in the cemetery.“ Hopefully, it has become apparent from the decision aspects that the crossroad is an ideal metaphor for a decision.