What separates movements from everybody else is that movements do. They don’t make excuses.
South Africa’s liberation movements, Occupy Wall Streets, movements that marched to Tahir Square in Egypt, #RhodesMustFall and now #FeesMustFall are some examples of movements that matters.
We grew up in movements, be it community movement, family movement, work movement, even churches are movements.
We are living through a change in how ideas are created, spread and implemented. In the past, you got an idea, built a factory and produced it on a very large scale. Then you got an idea and put it on television so you could spread it to millions.
Today we spread ideas by leading.
The #FeesMustFall movement didn’t need a huge marketing budget to market itself before people joined it. In the connection economy all it takes is someone (or a group) to start, to take the initiative and lead.
If the message resonates with a lot of people, they will connect and join and the movement grows.
You don’t need everyone to adopt the idea, you just need a thousand people who are true believers.
A movement has an emotional heart. A movement might use an organisation, but it can replace systems and people if they disappear.
Movements are more likely to cause widespread change, and they require leaders, not managers. The internet, it turns out, is a movement, and every time someone tries to own it, they fail.
Three questions to answer if you are starting a movement:
- Who are you upsetting? If you are not upsetting anyone, you are not changing the status
- Who are you connecting? And
- Who are you leading?
To build movements effectively, understand how to leverage culture (the culture of a group), their curiosity, the power of connecting (people want to be missed when they are not around), charisma (which comes from being a leader, it’s not a precursor) and commitment.
Just before you finish reading and dashing off, I would like to ask you for a favour. It won’t take a lot of you:
I would like you start a movement, a movement that matters, just go out there and do it, we need it.
Go ahead and create a movement for the elites. Not the elites of class or wealth, but the elites of curiosity, passion and taste. Every great thing ever created and achieved was created by and for this group.