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So following on from yesterdays post where I talk about the 10 steps to working successfully overseas [of which, if I’m being honest, there’s at least 100 more] I wrote in the UK edition of Campaign, I thought I’d continue with the blatant ego flag waving by talking about this …
The Stuff You Can’t Bottle by King Adz is a wonderful, wonderful book.
Not just because King Adz is a smart, informed and interesting guy, but because he got off his arse and travelled to a bunch of countries so he could discover what was going on there culturally and creatively and gain more insight into what makes those particular countries ‘tick’.
For all the talk our industry makes about ‘understanding people’, it never fails to amaze me how much they ignore or simplify cultural understanding.
Saying ‘China likes rice’ is not cultural insight, it’s lazy and embarrassing as is claiming everything can be nicely packaged as a ‘global human truth’ when the issue is far more about how people interpret and express those ‘truths’ rather than acknowledging that they love their children as much as the next person.
And that’s why I love this book because not only does it explore cultural differences between territories – and how that manifests itself into some sort of cultural creative code – but it also reminds you that London, NYC & Sydney don’t hold the monopoly on creating amazing ideas.
There’s so much in this book – culture, interviews, case studies – in fact the only downside is that I’m in it, ranting about China, but even people as clever as King Adz are capable of making the odd error of judgement along the way.
So if you want to get a little glimpse of all the exciting things happening outside your bubble, you can get The Stuff You Can’t Bottle here … and don’t worry, none of the proceeds go to me plus you can easily bypass my mutterings by simply ignoring all the brilliant stuff it talks about that is going on in China, just like most companies do.
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