Happy Birthday, Now Grow Up…

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EPIC has been my spiritual home for ten years. So, rather than present the speech I’ve been giving on a book tour this year or talk about a new book I’m writing on cultural knowledge, I want to report back to headquarters on what I’ve seen this past year talking to corporate executives and marketing heads of the largest corporations in the world. What I have seen is that these companies are ready for our practice and expertise. They are finally ready for our type of thinking. The skeptical conversations about our methodology are over. We won. It is now completely reasonable and desirable to do our kind of work, which I don’t think was the case in EPIC’s early days, some 10 years ago.

Before I delve into what lies ahead for our practice, I want to tell a short story about the insurance of wheat. During a workshop with a reinsurance firm in Switzerland the CEO pragmatically stated what big corporations need right now. He said, “We don’t have any ideas anymore. We have cash. We have tons of cash, but we simply don’t know what to do. We don’t have the texture...

  1 comment for “Happy Birthday, Now Grow Up…

    September 8, 2016 at 2:24 am

    Inspiring talk. As a researcher in a business school I totally agree that ethnographers need to stay away from consumer insights specialists. Last time I went to a conference on “consumer insights” I wanted to commit suicide. And it’s true that the big four charge lots of money for strategy consulting these days. There is no reason why ethnographers should not be able to do the same.

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