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Silence is no longer golden

"Don't speak up and you'll be held accountable!" This is one of the key lessons we can learn from the BLOCKOUT movement. What is it and why should we, EX & CX change agents, be aware of it?

The BLOCKOUT movement is a social media movement that originated in the US, driven by fans' frustration with the silence of celebrities on social issues, particularly the conflict in Gaza. Fans are criticizing these celebrities for not doing enough to address global injustices, accusing them of hypocrisy for asking for donations while living in extreme wealth. The backlash on social media has been fierce, with many celebrities losing millions of followers and potentially facing sponsorship losses.

Regardless of one's personal opinion on the movement, there's an important lesson for organizations: You can no longer distance yourselves from complex societal issues. Politics seem to be intertwined with sporting events (Olympics), entertainment (Eurovision Song Contest), and education (protests on university campuses). For a long time, businesses have given the impression that they don't need to engage with these issues. However, the question is: can they still afford to stay silent?

We believe that organizations will increasingly be called upon to take a stance on societal issues. This will involve navigating conflicting interests, making statements that could carry risks. But the risk of staying silent will only grow. Not only can a "vocal minority" affect an organization, but the power of social media can quickly amplify these minority voices and make them mainstream.

As an organization, you can take steps to ensure that you have effective weak signal detection: This means setting up enough "antennas" to pay attention to dissenting opinions. You can do this by:

  • Focusing on inclusive employee journeys: Encourage diversity in background and thought processes to ensure that the organization is receptive to a wider range of perspectives, including those that might otherwise be filtered out.

  • Prioritizing meaningful customer journeys: Design customer journeys that go beyond financial goals and consider the social value that can be created.

By paying attention to creating a more inclusive employee experience and meaningful customer experiences, organizations can prepare themselves for their role in society.


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