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Hot causes and cool mobilisation

22 April 2009
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It is probably not-PC to admit to listening to Counterpoint on Radio National but I greatly enjoyed Hayagreeva Rao’s interview (9 March 2009), which discussed his book Market rebels: how activists make or break radical innovations.

many microbrewery capsThe description of how microbreweries in USA rose and flourished because of their hot cause (anger against bad tasting Big Beer, with lack of any choice) and cool mobilisation. The cool mobilisation is in this case beer festivals – these festivals gave beer drinkers and home brewers a place to meet, “engaging audiences through collective experiences that generate communities of feeling”, allowing new behaviours and new beliefs to develop.

I like the concept of forming a new identity by one’s participation in a cool mobilisation – the cool mobilisation require participants who consciously create and experiment with the experience to make it happen or make it complete. This is what is happening in my online community, but it is also what they tell the children at the beginning of each year – ‘the more you contribute to the school, the more you’ll get out of it’ – this even from an archetypal Counterpoint-subscribing Principal. I guess the difference is how cool school will let you be.

Rao, Hayagreeva 2009, ‘Market rebels and radical innovation’, The McKinsey Quarterly, 10 pp., available in full at http://www.lindsayresnick.com/Radical_Innovation.pdf

Image: Microbrew bottle caps, via creativecommons from John Flinchbaugh

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