Hello and welcome to the TCC Weekly – the Friday bulletin for people who know their Carillionista from their carilloneur.
It’s a week with all sorts going on, from films that change our political outlook in Behaviour Change, to leaders who struggle to change each other’s outlook in Engagement Hub. Aside from that relatively serious stuff, we’ve got the usual psychographic sojourn into the Values Lab, which marks Burns Night with a dissection of values north of the border.
And it wouldn’t be a week worth reading about without a visit to Charlie’s Attic, the poets’ playground that's more McGonagall than Burns. This week it includes the league table of sweariest Westminster politicians on Twitter, and the 29 stages of a Twitterstorm.
In the week the Oscar nominations were announced, it seems timely to contort our ever-flexible Behaviour Change section in the direction of cinema – and luckily enough, a half-relevant story has popped up in our weekly trawl for behavioural titbits.
We all know a good film can really stir emotions, but can it actually have a more fundamental effect than that? Researchers from the University of Georgia and University of North Carolina have found that the power of the pictures extends as far as influencing our political persuasion. Two flicks in particular, 300 and V for Vendetta, were found to compel viewers towards and away from authoritarianism respectively.
The use of film at the extreme end of behaviour change – as propaganda – of course has a storied and often infamous role in history, but the finding that these ostensibly more innocuous entertainment pieces can make us feel a certain way about the way the world should run, or be run, is a reminder of the medium’s sway, even if the researchers admit there is further work to be done before they can draw more robust conclusions.
In pretty much any walk of life, you’re going to have to work with others who don’t quite agree with you, so the art of effective negotiation means something to us all. When it comes to taking inspiration from others, you might think the author of a book called The Art of the Deal would be a great starting point. Not so, claims Neil Clothier in this City AM article.
The Donald Trump/Kim Jong-un approach, the article explains, is actually flush with examples of bad negotiation, including irritating behaviour, antagonising opponents, and the premature showing of cards.
The article spells out some of the keys to effective negotiation, and although it is primarily aimed at the business environment, there are some highly relevant lessons for engagement practitioners in the community too. The need for flexibility, acknowledging each party’s frustrations and critically listening (and demonstrating that you’re doing so), are all applicable to successful engagement work in tricky or complex public contexts.
Last night was Burns Night, the annual celebration of the lauded poet behind such classics as Address to a Haggis. We spotted the opportunity to pivot our Values lens northwards, so after a voracious intake of some hastily procured Scottish refreshments, we donned our seldom seen tartan lab coats and stumbled on down to the Values Lab to find out all about the values of Scotland.
What the map reveals is that Scotland’s population is very much skewed towards the bottom half of the map, and the more socially liberal pole. The specific warmer red blobs in the bottom ‘confident Pioneer’ and bottom left ‘socially liberal Prospector’ segments correlate closely with the more globalist and optimistic attributes that tended to match the Remain vote in 2016, so it’s no surprise that the Scottish vote came down heavily on that side of the argument.