Understanding your people’s beliefs and values is powerful. Witness Trump.
Donald Trump stunned the world when he won the US presidential race. He won because he understood the values and world views of a large number of Americans. He then reflected those views right back at those people. In other words, his perceived values ALIGNED with the values of millions who voted for him. “I AM YOUR VOICE!” he trumpets.
Donald Trump stunned the world last year when he beat the most qualified candidate in history, Hilary Clinton. How did he do it? He ran an election campaign underpinned by a clear understanding of the values and beliefs of a large section of the American population. Hilary Clinton’s political machine was all over the data, but data doesn’t drive behaviour – people’s values and beliefs do.
Trump espoused values such as patriotism (America First!), tradition (a belief in family values and conventional behaviour), affiliation (wanting to be part of a group, to belong) and security (of the nation, and occupation, being gainfully employed).
Residents of the ‘Rust belt’, disaffected by the globalised economy and disappointed in Obama’s inability to improve their day to day lives, supported Trump in droves.
The Rust Belt – the Midwest of America - covers a huge area from Western Pennsylvania to Eastern Iowa. It’s the industrial heartland of America, with its steel mills, automotive factories and coal mines. It used to drive the American economy.
However, the new globalised economy has seen vast tracks of the Midwest left behind. Jobs went overseas; robots took over remaining jobs; whole towns emptied out; unemployment became rife and people had to work 2 – 3 jobs just to survive.
America today is divided by the so called ‘urban elites’ who have thrived under the globalised economy and the residents of the ‘rust belt’, who have been disaffected by it. It was to these voters that Trump appealed to.
Those who felt jobs were going overseas liked Trump’s promise to ‘Make America Great Again.’ His patriotism resonated with them. They once worked in industries which formed the heartland of America – Trump was promising to bring those days back.
These people felt like the traditional values they had upheld were being eroded – Trump in his behaviour and comments in the media portrayed a person for whom values such as traditional families and conventional attitudes were important.
Rust belt residents, who were already feeling vulnerable, felt threatened by the levels of migration and the threat of terrorism. Trump’s focus on his value of ‘security’ was key to driving large scale support across disaffected areas of America. Finally, he played his core value of affiliation (wanting to belong, be part of something) well by always using inclusive language – ‘We will do this together’; ‘We will make America again.’
Even his use of simple, colloquial language clearly differentiated himself from the so called ‘Swamp’ – the political elite that had let these people down.
Trump’s campaign was driven by values and beliefs that resonated with a large section of the American population. His actions, his comments, his tweets, his behaviour in the media – all spoke directly to these people. His apparent values and beliefs reflected theirs….it gave them hope. ‘Here’s someone who understands me.’ And they voted in droves.
It’s why data may give you detailed information, but it doesn’t drive behaviour. Values and beliefs do.
Gain an understanding of the beliefs and values of your staff, make changes to reflect and respect these, and watch your workplace culture transform.
We’re happy to discuss this further with you. Call 1300 650 080
We live, breathe, study and work with organisational culture because we believe that culture, more than anything, determines success.
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How we improve organisational culture.
Through our Cultural Health Check program, we engage with, and learn about the values and world views of an organisation’s team members. Then we implement a guided program to bridge the gap in staff and management culture.
What we do
We help companies who have high turnover costs and lost productivity opportunities because their team members don’t or won’t go the extra mile. We help foster an organisational culture in which staff is motivated to give discretionary effort.
- TRUST: Actively and accurately hearing and sensing another’s thoughts and feelings. To express thoughts and feelings in a climate of mutual trust.
- INTEGRITY: Commanding the authority of thought leadership through our knowledge and integrity.
- WISDOM: Seeking the wisdom that stems from understanding a set of sociological principles that govern human enterprises.
- COLLABORATION: Commitment to societal transformation through both individual independent action and a collaborative network.
- TRANSFORMATIVE COMMUNICATION: Communicating transformative insights to change the way people view the world and live in it.