Sometimes you don’t know what to make of something—is it brave, horrendous, funny, weird, sad, inappropriate. You can’t stop watching it but you can’t believe they actually produced it. You wonder if it works in the local context and culture—and feel that it doesn’t in yours. Well…The Singapore Media Development Authority has produced this video, seen by some 80,000 folks, and it made me think of a wonderful book by Harvard professor Rosabeth Moss Canter called something like Teaching Elephants How To Dance, an interesting analysis of how to teach senior corporate managers to be
If I had to judge by the reaction of about a dozen people I've shown the video to in the past hour--and my own reaction--the MDA of Singapore gets an A+ for bravery but a solid C for succeeding in communicating that they are one hip group of media cats. At least in the US cultural context, the video is like a train wreck that you can't stop watching. But it just may work inside the Singaporean context. Or even Asian context, I don't know. I do remember being pressured to get up and sing publicly in the Philippines when I was in the Peace Corps. It was so bad, it was good. And the Filipino teachers loved the effort, if not the voice. Can the video be an example of that?