Monday, November 30, 2009

General Motor's Cultural Autism and Intimacy-Deficiency Disorder

Is it any wonder that General Motors so dutifully displays it's intimacy-deficiency syndrome in ads for the Buick LaCrosse that claim IT is another reason for Lexus' relentless pursuit of perfection? Do you also find it laughingly unbelievable that Howie Long can schill for Chevy then throw in that in comparisons to Hondas Chevy doesn't make lawnmowers? Not to GM: When you are so far down a hole you have to climb up a ladder to get to the bottom you don't go around parading your cultural autism: a complete disregard for the consumer's cultural intelligence. Socially awkward does not even begin to describe General Motor's turnaround face. Chevy's still called "the volume" brand with no hope of catching the brands that so better move consumer culture into and back out of their organization. General Motors was and is the kid in school everyone percieved to be an outcast. Mean yes. True? We'll, their the ones with the self-inflicted wounds. As GM sheds brands GM remains...completely delusional in the way it views itself.

I find the concept of Cultural Autism in business interesting. And with Google returning only 4,500 some odd results on the topic, it is not very well explored. With Grant McCracken's release of his new book, Chief Culture Officer, no book or subject could be more timely for GM.

I found this webcast on cultural autism. I hope it provides food for thought in your own business. Today human interaction has been reduced to text messages, Facebook pages, computer screens, and mindless television. Parents are merely chauffeurs for their children’s endless activities away from home. Neighbors are strangers on the other side of a high, strong fence. Many families don’t even share meals together. What is the price of this modern living? The price is deep loss -- of real connecting intimacy, of family cohesion, of social graces, of a sense of community. These are fading away into the distant memory of our collective psyche, replaced by sterile cultural autism (disregard for external reality), masquerading as genuine intimacy. We will be discussing the emotional deficiency disorder at the heart of our high-tech culture-- lack of deep, profound relating with one another.

Will the androids running GM ever feel real?

1 comment:

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