I went to a free screening of I, Daniel Blake on Saturday with a friend. The film follows two characters, Daniel and Katie, as they fight to negotiate with the UK benefits system.
The film evoked some first-hand memories for me. My sister was stripped of benefits a year or so ago, as she was deemed ‘fit to work’ by a decision maker with no understanding of her situation.
Fortunately, my sister is well supported by my family, and by no means ‘up against it’. But for many people who suffer through this, it spells life on the streets, life in prison, or even the end.
One of the actors from the film, Kate Rutter, was at the filming to answer questions. It was interesting that of the 180 people present, most stayed for the questions afterwards. I live in a part of the country where the dialogue is certainly relevant.
It was the Greek philosopher Socrates who first argued that true knowledge can only come from dialogue, and sadly dialogue is desperately missing in the world today. It’s true in politics, and it’s true in marketing.
There’s a pervasive idea in marketing that you can absorb all the knowledge you need from some self-proclaimed ‘guru’, without hard work, experimentation, or any form of questioning. Everybody is hustling, but not enough people are sharing and discussing. It takes true bravery to share your ideas, and expose yourself to criticism.
Socrates believed it was better to be an expert in making other people know things, than knowing them all yourself. Nowhere is this now more true than the world of marketing.
Are you surrounding yourself with the right people, and challenging dialogue? You already have the answers to your marketing problems. The challenge is to seek out hard questions that will unlock them.