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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars

on 31 January 2014
Understanding the CDSM model - first in Chris Rose's 'How to Win Campaigns' and expanded upon in this book - I feel that I have a powerful new overview of campaigning. It's hard to overestimate this book's value. Even over the last year a basic understanding of these principles has enabled me to convince my small campaigning organisation that it's worth adding tactics to appeal to Prospectors and Settlers as well as the most naturally supportive Pioneer groups.

The one downside is that it tends to give itself away as a rather secular approach, hinting that religious campaigners will by by nature fundamentalist or 'Settler' because of their traditional social values. I don't find this persuasive given the sheer breadth within faith-based campaigning organisations, and my own personal knowledge of Christians/Muslims/others who span the three main groups. This needs further developed insights and perhaps consultation with these groups to reflect their diversity within the model.

Otherwise a massive thumbs up - very insightful for those of us who want to make a difference by reaching mainstreamers in society not just the die-hard campaigners!!
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on 26 August 2017
This review is not about the content of the book. It is about the quality of the binding. 20 min after opening an entire chunk of pages fell out of the book and more have fallen out since. This has made the book unreadable and for a £20 price I find that extremely disappointing.
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on 22 June 2017
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on 29 September 2015
Interesting read. I wish it went it to some more real world applications and diverged into the 12 modes, but worth a read.
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on 27 October 2011
It has been clear for some time that class-based models of political behaviour have weakened to the point of uselessness. The question is what to replace them with. Human beings are not just a set of individuals impervious to external influence. In fact, we are deeply influenced in ways that we don't realise. It turns out that that what drives us is values.

Values are the deep undercurrents of individual motivation. They heavily influence our shopping habits, our choice of partner, our cultural interests, our work, and our politics. We don't just wake up one day and decide that we are going to hold a certain set of values. It is something which occurs in response to our needs. If we are hungry then our values will gear us towards abating our hunger. If we need the esteem of others then our values will guide us in that direction. And if we need to attain ethical wisdom then that is what we will spend our time doing.

It is these deep values that Chris Rose explains in this powerful and exciting look at what makes humans tick. Maslow was right: we do have a hieracrchy of needs and this book presents the evidence behind the theory. It is built around decades worth of data about values and value shifts in society. The evidence base comes from a guy called Pat Dade who runs a company called Cultural Dynamics. I've met Pat on a number occasions and he is one of the most inspirational people I've come across in my professional life. This book explains his life's work. Anyone engaged in politics, business, human association of any kind who hasn't read this book is missing the full picture. It's all in here.

To understand the insights it is necessary to understand that all societies break down into three broad value-sets: settlers, prospectors, and pioneers. As Rose explains:

"For Settlers, the deep forces draw people to seek out safety, security, identity and belonging. For Prospectors, it is the yearning for success, the search for esteem of others, and self-esteem, while for Pioneers, the constant drive is for new ideas, the quest for connections waiting to be made, and living a life based on ethics."

That's humanity in a paragraph. Our behaviours, opinions, actions are all in some way linked to these sub-conscious value sets and the needs they respond to. Societies change over time as values shift. Individuals shift their value sets over time too. Understanding these value shifts is key to understanding politics, business, religion, culture: society.

Earlier this week I wrote a strident critique of the claims of the Occupy London protestors that they were representative of the 99%. The simply fact is that there is no 99%. As things stand - though it does shift - we have a society that is 41% pioneer, 31% settler and 28% prospector. Portsmouth University political theorist Ed Rooksby shot a tweet in criticism of my argument to the effect that I was frightened of offending the middle-classes. But, of course, it is pioneers who are in those tents outside St Paul's and they will be pretty middle-class in the main. The protestors will have more of a problem with many other pioneers who, having their own mind, will disagree with them. Prospectors who are probably more interested in shopping and fun unless Occupy becomes more fashionable (think The Only Way Is Essex), and settlers who recoil at disorder will also present a large obstacle. There is no 99% behind any given solution: we have a divided sociey and that's how it will remain.

But this creates problems for anyone looking to construct political movements and coalitions of all types, not just the protestors. In the post-class politics era (but not, please note, post-class) political motivation and allegiance is more contingent, fluid, and free-flowing.

What Red Tories and traditionalists see as a liberal conspiracy in the creation of our individualistic society is actually a perfectly explicable social development. As our society moved into greater prosperity; as the threat of cataclysmic war receded, then social, economic and political freedom became highly desirable. We give those baby boomers a hard time, but they were the first generation who were able to enjoy social, sexual, political, cultural and economic freedom as the historical context shifted. This wasn't done to us by a liberal elite. This happened and we need to be aware of what happened and why. We became prospectors and pioneers instead of settlers. Rose quotes the work of Ronald Ingelhart on the rise of post-materialist and secular values approvingly. We just haven't yet found an intellectually honest way of understanding it. What makes people tick is one contribution to that.

And these insights explain much of what is happening in the political world currently. Here is Rose on Ingelhart:

"Ingelhart predicted in 1977 `declining rates of elite-directed political mobilisation and rising rates of elite-challenging mass activity among Western publics' - in other words, declining participation in formal elections, and rising participation in things like campaigns, boycotts and petitions. This is, of course, exactly what has happened, as these are the activities of the Pioneers, with their latest expression found in new powerhouse groups such as [...] [...] [...] and [...]".

The rise of the Greens, the Pirate Party's success in Europe, but also the attraction of the far right to the settler mentality, are all contained within this understanding. The riots can be seen as the violent expression of a particular group within prospectors. Understanding people through their values is key to explaining political behaviour and much else. It also disciplines us to realise how it's not just clever marketing that achieves political change. It's also about understanding people through their values and needs. Rose quotes George Lakoff on framing approvingly. Lakoff has been used to hoodwink the left into believing that all it requires is cleverer arguments to win the day. To certain extent, yes, but it must also be aware of the limits it faces - people's individual values in all their variety.

There is nothing I can say to recommend this book more highly. If you don't understand its argument you don't understand modern politics. Buy it, read it, absorb it, and then think about what it means in practice. It will challenge your assumptions and change the way you look at things completely.

Anthony Painter is a writer and critic. This review originally appeared on the Labour Uncut website (23/10/2011) and is copied here with the writer's permission.
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on 29 November 2011
Too often I have seen cases being put forward that don't resonate with their audience. People invest considerable resources and put forward positions that make sense to them but not to the people they are trying to persuade. More remarkably, people are surprised that they keep loosing, and because they spend a lot of their time with people who usually think the same way as them, must have come around to believing that most people think like they do.

Politicians, lawyers and lobbyists need to make sure that their words "click" with the people they are trying to persuade. This is a key job part of the job. But, all too often, their words sound like "double-dutch" to their target audience.

Working out how people "tick" and reformulating your message so it stands a better chance of being accepted is not alchemy. It can be learnt.

Is there a way to win over people?
Chris Rose shows how this can be done. In his new book, the leading NGO campaign consultant, explains just how to do appeal to many different groups of interests.

Chris' book "What Makes People Tick: The Three Hidden Worlds of Settlers, Prospectors and Pioneers" is a must read for any campaigner looking to make sure that their message is listened to and adopted.
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on 31 July 2014
This book is brilliant because it solved some important mysteries I had.

Why is it a waste of time trying to present facts to climate change deniers? Think of the millions of hours wasted on this exercise and the megawatts of anger and fustration caused thereby. This books explains it.

How come two people who had the same schooling in the same country, use the same systems of reason and logic, can disagree fundamentally about something?

Why do some people identify themselves as left wing and some people right wing, when what they hold dear, what is important to them, is practically the same? Heck, why do we even bother with right and left when the bit in common so much more important?

Why do some people prefer team sports like football and others prefer individual sports like tennis?

Why is the truth an insufficient tool of persuasion?

Why do some people have very orderly gardens, devoid of any ecological value.

Why do some people need to own a Porsche, even though it's just a piece of fast metal painted red.

Why do Americans eat organic food because of health and Europeans because of the environment?

What would it take to get people to love the natural world?

Why are so many environmental campaigns useless?

Why do green products take so long to become mainstream?

How can we be effective if we want to make the world a bit better?

The book doesn't exactly present answers to these specific questions, but it equips you to think about these questions and then get a working explanation.

The book is also brilliant because it is deep and does all the above, but it is very readable and engaging. I have trouble getting through most non-fiction books because they get boring after they have said the main thing in the first few pages anyway. This is not one of those.

Anyone curious about how to make the world a bit better should read this first. It is not and does not claim to be an explanation of all human behaviour (obviously), but it provides a big chunk of that.
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on 7 July 2016
I was sceptical at first about the ideas set out here about influencing social change, but having seen the results of acting on them I'm convinced there is a lot to it. Recommended to all who want to influence public policy.
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on 27 March 2013
Great model with really interesting examples to bring it to life. Plenty of ah ha moments regarding personal experience as well as lots to consider for anyone influencing the public.
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on 15 December 2016
An interesting model of social values, but Mr Rose is not an accomplished author, and his writing would benefit from editing.
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