The late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. has been quoted saying "almost always, the creative dedicated minority has made the world better." What an interesting phrase.
Dr. King Jr's context was built around social justice, and social change. Ghandi's peaceful movement in India started with a small group of people. In the beginning of WWII, Churchill's legion to get the U.S. involved started with a creative minority.
And of course, Dr. King Jr's civil rights movement, with multiple organizations behind him, started with a creative minority.
Yes, when environments in which we operate need changing, it is best to look out into the fringes of society to see what they are doing, and if those things are something worth adding to the entire community.
Corporate America, though no "hotbed" of social injustice, is well overdue for its self-examination. But who, in this context, is the creative minority?
Why not us creatives?
According to the numbers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics (Table B-1a, if you wanted to crunch them yourselves) when you combine the number of estimated jobs in marketing and advertising, in comparison to the national workforce, the total amounts to a whooping 0.5%.
A minority, indeed. It makes sense then, that the creative community is always under scrutiny. As loud as our community is, we are an extremely close-knit bunch. So then, if we apply the point of this post, our creative minority has the power to make the world better. Make the business world, and in turn, our society, a little better.
Now we are not total Utopians. But we can at least change the way some things are done. We can refuse to take on products that need more work. We can refuse products that consumers don't want, or products that could hurt consumers. We can get louder in our advocacy of promoting causes for the good of people in our communities.
Though we're only 0.5%, we are the mouthpieces of Corporate America. They need our creative minority.
Let's show them that we know that.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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