Exploring Brexit

Off the beaten track — Part III.

The first rule of Brexit is “you’re wrong”.

No matter what you say on Brexit then someone will argue that you’re wrong and that they’re right. The purpose of a map is never about being right but instead helping to create a better map. Hence, I’m going to start by saying that I accept that my maps are wrong but I’m not interested in why they are wrong, I am only interested in a better map. So, they’re wrong, you’re right but if you want to discuss this subject further then produce a better map.

A confession

Before I start mapping out this space, I need to fess up. There’s some amiss with the maps that you’ve seen and many of you describe difficulty with it. The issue is the value chain axis. The problem is that the axis is pure scaffolding i.e. training wheels. The value chain axis was solely added to help people get used to the idea of mapping. Once you start to have problems with it, you know you’ve outgrown it. We will now abandon the y-axis and return to the original form of maps. Since you’re reading this article then I can assume that you no longer need to rely on it. When you look at a map (figure 1) then visibility is within the chain i.e. position is part of the chain itself.

The Few

On one side, there are the few. The few want control for the individual (i.e. themselves) and by this we mean both the agency (the power) to act independently and control over others (a collective) through some form of hierarchy (with them at the top). The purpose of this agency was economic wealth, as in it both needs it and provides it and creates safety for that group. The sense of belonging here was more a tool for controlling a collective i.e. the few were the faction leaders and the sense of belonging (to the faction) was focused on controlling the collective. This narrative I’ve shown in figure 3 as red lines and text (which I’ve also made bold and increased the thickness).

The Many

One the other side, there are the many. The narrative tended to again discuss control but in a sense of a collective that belongs together (as a faction) which is focused on creating safety for the entire group. This was wrapped in notions of collective responsibility with the “freedom to discuss and challenge” with each other. The notion of collective responsibility was also tied to concepts of democracy through both equality (the line of “one person, one vote”) and fairness (the glib “no taxation without representation” was stated). This narrative I’ve shown in figure 4 as green lines and text (which I’ve also made bold and increased the thickness).


Now let us overlap these narratives — see figure 5. Whilst there maybe disagreement on the meanings and the associations between terms, common core ideas appear in both narratives — that of control, of belonging, of collective and of safety. I’ve highlighted in blue and made those terms bold. There are also clear distinctions as in one narrative responsibility is to the individual and safety is strongly connected to economic wealth, in another the responsibility is to the collective and safety is more to do with engagement i.e. being part of the faction. What we are slowly starting to visualise is the description (these are only narratives) of two distinct cultures with overlapping and common components.

Why does this matter?

First, it is wrong, so you could say it doesn’t. But, if we can start to visualise the landscape then we can not only improve our visualisation but also we can start to learn patterns and determine ways of manipulating this environment to our favour.

Next Steps

We will add these components to our future map of culture, combining these elements with communication and challenge but before we do this we need to explore further including the areas of values, symbols, rituals and embedded knowledge.

Off the beaten track

Part I — What culture is right for you?
Part II — Exploring culture
Part III — Exploring Brexit
Part IV — From Values to Rituals
Part V — Exploring Value
Part VI — Embedded in memory
Part VII — Me vs We

The book of Mapping … so far

Chapter 1 — On being lost
Chapter 2 — Finding a path
Chapter 3 — Exploring the map
Chapter 4 — Doctrine
Chapter 5 — The play and a decision to act
Chapter 6 — Getting started yourself
Chapter 7 — Finding a new purpose
Chapter 8 — Keeping the wolves at bay
Chapter 9 — Charting the future
Chapter 10 — I wasn’t expecting that!
Chapter 11 — A smorgasbord of the slightly useful
Chapter 12 — The scenario
Chapter 13 — Something wicked this way comes
Chapter 14 — To thine own self be true
Chapter 15 — On the practice of scenario planning
Chapter 16 — Super Looper
Chapter 17 — To infinity and beyond
Chapter 18 — Better for Less
Chapter 19 — On Playing Chess

I like ducks, they're fowl but not through choice. RT is not an endorsement but a sign that I find a particular subject worthy of challenge and discussion.

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