Following the comment on my last post, I just thought I would write a few words to clarify my thoughts on the Alpha vs Zeta battle we are seeing manifest - not just in business but in the world.
Alpha values = pursuit of money & power which leads to desires like control, revenge. These are traditional male values (although there are many 'Alpha Females').
Zeta values = pursuit of harmony & collaboration which leads to ethics, integrity and desire to help others. These are traditional female values (although there are many 'Zeta Males').
The traditional business world is built on Alpha values - the vast majority of the world's wealth controlled by a very small number of very powerful people; the pursuit of wealth at all costs having reaped huge damage to the environment, as well as issues like exploitation of child labour, horrific animal farming methods and so on.
However, the most powerful people in the business world are ultimately the customers - and because 70% of purchasing decisions are now made or influenced by women, and because the explosion of communication has revealed what is really going on, women are becoming more and more drawn to Zeta brands - who trade with ethics and integrity, not the pure 'Alpha' profit motive.
The 'Zetas' are also increasingly finding/intrinsically know that happiness is not found in material possessions (as the advertising world would like to make them believe), hence the retailers having to work harder and harder to maintain the sales of things that for the most part people do not actually need.
Of course the traditional Alpha businesses have recognised the trend, and are desperately trying to re-brand themselves as 'green' and 'ethical', yet at the heart of it they are run by the City, which is only interested in short term results.
Meanwhile, some of the most enlightened wealthy are now devoting an increasing amount of their time to Zeta causes (Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Branson)
And we are starting to see an increasing polarisation between the two groups.
If you don't believe this, take a look at some of the footage coming through from the Far East - lorries of soldiers heading for Tibet horrific scenes of violence against religious and intrinsically peaceful people, and the Dalai Lama declared a 'Jackal in monk's robes' by the Chinese government.
Meantime we see stock markets in meltdown and hoards of 'Alphas' on telephones desperately trying to protect their money as The Establishment tries to stop the credit bubble bursting - imaginary money which was provided to keep fuelling a sales lead economy.
Just to bring this back to small business, which is the sector I am most active in, I would say to people going into business, look at these trends and think ahead to the natural consequences of what is happening.
A shift away from materialism, a growing desire for harmony peace and self-understanding and a customer base which is increasingly being drawn to ethical and honest brands.
Look at any projection of the future whether it is Star Trek or Stanley Kubrick and you will see minimalism and the search for knowledge and understanding, not more 'stuff'.
And if all this sounds 'bitter', no doubt 'anonymous will let me know...