Michael Brooks & Philip McKenzie  

In a business and social terrain that is constantly shifting one can’t afford to view culture as either a luxury or an after-thought. Culture must be at the center of any strategy that has a chance of successfully navigating these challenges. Through the 2 Dope Boys & a Podcast show (subscribe for twice weekly insight here) Communion salon events and strategic consulting, we use our Cultural Prime Directive to assist brands and organizations grasp the importance of cultural spaces, determine the type of cultural alignment that serve their core strategic values and how to avoid the “brand eff ups” and cultural misalignments that threaten the validity of their brand.  

In the course of our show, we speak with some of the most provocative thinkers and creators across a wide range of industry and disciplines. Together we create a space for the type of conversations that are guaranteed to generate relevant and applicable insight. Insight that in turn can be used to thrive in a complex world. We want to share with you some of the key insights from our 2 Dope Boys & a Podcast On Point interview segment.

Below are macro concepts with relevance for everything from employee retention and organizational development, long term strategy and trend scouting. Subscribe to the show for weekly insights and contact us for strategic advising and event planning.

Cognitive Diversity

Cognitive diversity is an expansion on the traditional way organizations look at diversity. It is not enough to think of diversity as it pertains to race, gender and religion. It must also encompass how we learn from, teach, reward and ultimately retain our best and brightest employees. Cognitive diversity relates to who we are as an organization, how we think and where we draw our insights and learning.

Post-Demographic Reality

What if we are moving into a world defined by shared values instead of demographics? Brands still focus obsessively with demographics groups with millennials being the most trendy grouping right now, but in the attempt to understand the world through demographic they are missing the sets of shared values communities that drive consumers, push trends and create cross demographic alliances. Of course, age, ethnicity and background matter, but in the mash up/cultural hybrid age values and community building are replacing demographic.

Connecting to our humanity/over reliance on data 

What if the real purpose of business is to create human community. What if technology won't ever solve our biggest problems-and in fact might be creating new ones? Reconnecting with human scale and purpose is essential for brands adopting to the challenges of the modern age. Apps are great but they don't create meaning. Innovation is essential but, it needs to start taking place at the level of how we think about money and business. 

Importance of analog culture/passion

Big Data remains a focal point and carrying card in business circles. Big data can be useful but it can also obscure that beneath the numbers there are people. Analog is a counterweight to the big data obsession. Big movements are often rooted in the simple passions and pleasures of a committed subculture. Analog movements i.e. people based subcultures are driven by experiences. It requires touching and feeling retail stores, barber shops, skate parks, pop up shops and then taking those observations and extrapolating what is essential in culture.

Wellness and its effects 

Practices that enhance physical, emotional and mental resilience are becoming as important as brushing your teeth in today’s world. Internal tools must be cultivated in order to deal with the external demands and complexity of modern life. Mindfulness when practiced from a genuine place of self reflection, can help us let go of repressed emotions while seeing ourselves and our world more clearly. We then gain the capacity to move with a deliberate purpose which is increasingly essential to our creative processes.  

Value in the Margins  

Very rarely do the agents of the status quo drive innovation. Innovation usually comes from asking questions due to a gap or need that is not being addressed via traditional methodologies. It is imperative to uncover value that exist in non-traditional places. In short, change and value is discovered in the margins. With new ideas must come new metrics. We have to find ways to measure what is success and redefine growth in a new economy.

The Danger of Short Term Thinking + Scale

Short Term thinking permeates many industries. Long the hallmark of Wall Street with its emphasis on quarterly returns over long term viability it is now everywhere. Short term thinking emphasizes easily measured returns over a longer time horizon where measurable returns are more uncertain. In creative industries where culture should be the focus short term thinking instead demands instant results not allowing for the natural gestation of cultural movements. Scale becomes the end no matter the means. We have been taught that bigger is always better and our productive energies have been focused in that direction. Alternatives to short term thinking and an adherence to scale over all is paramount.   


These insights provide a glimpse into the type of learnings pulled from the discipline of cultural anthropology that 2 Dope Boys & a Podcast are known for. The highest value is to subscribe to our show where you will have direct access to this type of thinking twice a week. Contact us directly should you want to put these insights into practice. Our consulting practice is designed to future proof your organization. Our specialization in cultural strategy, event curation and content creation work in concert to make you better. Please fill out the form below to stay updated on all 2 Dope Boys & a Podcast insights. 

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