Many African leaders have used the term ‘We Africans’ in their speeches and statements. Subsequently, many researches and works based on findings in one African society have been deemed to be relevant elsewhere in Africa. For example there are books on African organizations, on the African management style, on African values…Those pieces of work are never based on empirical studies covering the entire continent.
The damp, rusty drawbridge before me collapses
and I begin my journey toward a destination unknown
Into the dark, dense well I drop like a stone
Winds blow and voices around me shriek and moan
I rotate and flow down the large light-less hole
Lo and behold, a vivid glow awaits my eyesight below
I hit the floating hollow blood-orange mazes scattered throughout my wide brain
I hear sounds wide and unheard before now
Sweltered is my brow and abuzz are my feet
Curious and unsure of what or whom I’ll meet, I forge ahead
I go dig up the horseradish
its long bitter spear of harshness
reminds me of the taste of spring
always a slight aftertaste from the year before
the resentful winter and the cold
if you mix it in, just so-
So large, so real, so present,
Oseola McCarty might just speak
from the Annie Leibovitz portrait
in the museum gallery.
A high school classmate of mine recently posted a notice on a Facebook webpage to which we both subscribe about the passing of her younger brother, Peter. Peter, as it turned out was a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard. After serving for four years he attended college as a radio broadcast major. He graduated as valedictorian of his class and became involved in the administration of his college alma mater for thirty years, many of those years spent in financial services as the bursar. His sister and his colleagues noted that he always had a special concern for those who had given service to their country in the armed forces. “Peter really felt that it was not just his job or the college’s job,” remarked one of his colleagues in her reflections on his life, “but the job of all of us really, to make sure that veterans are taken care of when they come back.”
Most people don’t change, or willingly go along with change, because the change is “the right thing to do.” They do it if there is an important reason to change. Businesses don’t change their corporate cultures so that they retain women because doing so is nice for women. They do it if there is a compelling business reason to do so. The bottom line reasons to achieve gender diversity in leadership are exactly that—compelling.
Women leave their jobs at a higher rate than men. This is confirmed by data from the Bureau of Labor and by private research. There are three reasons business leaders need to understand why women leave. All are reasons to engage women so they’ll stay:
1. Turnover has a significant cost—estimates range between 50 and 200% of annual salary (plus negative impact on morale and performance).
2. Fully half of the total workforce and of the hiring pool (more than half of the educated hiring pool) is female—so the group at greatest risk of leaving is large.
3. Gender diversity in leadership has been correlated with higher returns (see studies by Catalyst and McKinsey); if you are losing women, you are probably losing the upside of gender diversity.
The globalization of organizations is an undeniably reality. Businesses and governments are working together to solve problems too big and too complex for any one country. Unfortunately, a quick glance through the recent news headlines points to a critical roadblock in the path to successful international collaboration: a severe lack of trust across organizational and national borders. Trust is one of the basic building blocks of successful collaboration.
The night outside has only just begun. It is youthful, jaunty with the stars perked up for an eve of dance and delight; much like the twelve princesses from childhood stories. The stars row down the alabaster stretch to a clandestine ball held at some obscured corner of the sky, conspicuous to only lovers – or believers.
time is not the deepest of times;
it is an unslept hour of breaking light
stirring lazily after a spent night
of copulation with its denseness
gloom, in visitation of hope
for the crescent moon to have tilted
sideways up into a smile, half
concealed by the veils of frothing
clouds speculating its revelation.