img_0897When I was a kid, I fancied myself a dream interpreter. My sister Daedre gave me this gift. She’d ask me to decipher her weirdest dreams. Only after a few years did she catch on that her “imaginings” always led to how she could be a better sister to me!

Last night I had a dream about the ocean. I was walking out to sea, feeling the warm water (okay – I was NOT in the Long Island Sound apparently) pick me up. I was bobbing along looking for a wave. I could see one starting to form – and then nothing. Like it gave up. I waited for another – same thing. And then there was this guide, bobbing along the ocean’s surface and I said, I’m trying to “catch a wave” and they don’t seem to want to break.

He looked at me and said, “Well, you don’t get your money back if they don’t – it’s nature and we have no control over it.”

So I just decided to float along and feel the current and well, just go with it.

The waves never came. It’s true, we have no control over nature. But how about human nature?

I’m working on my second book right now – called The Ripple Effect. When I started it I only had a few (but really good) examples of my premise: Corporations don’t have values, people do. And when those people change, so do the values, and the ripple effect is often a dramatic change in your brand (reputation).

Krispy Kreme was always my favorite example of this. You know the story: The dream of a donut, the perfect donut. Donut theatre was born. Many years later, the founder (the donut dreamer) dies and KK went from being very regional, with exceptional quality, and people flocking to the “Hot and Now” sign to stale old crap in every gas station across America. Values shifted to “quantity over quality” and all but killed the brand.

Right now we’re experiencing a tidal wave of the cause and effect of an American values shift.

I’ve said this publicly and I’m included in the group (barely) so I’m not afraid to say it again – I think this economic crisis is a direct result of the Baby Boomer generation.

The largest generation in US history – and when they came to power (meaning to control both industry and government) it all went to hell. Why? Because the values shifted from their parents (thrift and economy) to “I want it NOW damnit!” (rampant debt). Get it now, pay for it (or have my kids and their kids and their kids) pay for it later.

Is it human nature to be greedy?

Yes and no. We are in a cycle. Kind of like the tide going in and out, or the seasons changing. The reason this season feels so severe – the sheer volume of participants. But it IS a cycle. And we can’t market our way out of this one. We have to live our way out of it – by a tremendous shift in values.

If you want to read a fantastic paper on the cycles of human nature in America – check out: “Boomers, Your Crisis Has Arrived!” By James Quinn.