Growing up in a small Tennessee town with a population of 1500 people never stopped me from dreaming about traveling the globe to visit other countries. I wished to learn about the languages, manners, and native dress of other countries. I longed for the adventure of exploring the differences in food, history and religion in cultures and societies around the world.
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.
When the issue of diversity is raised, most think of race and ethnicity. Although these topics are very important, they are just the tip of the iceberg. The lens through which we see the world is significantly influenced by the whole of our life experiences. Factors such as socioeconomic status, gender, religion, occupation, language, where we live, cultural background and a host of other factors are all critical components of the concept of diversity.
It was my birthday recently and I was presented with the following question – “Do you celebrate your birthday with a cake in your culture & country? Would love to know if this a recent cultural phenomenon or long established? Is this a personal sign of globilisation?”
This is not an article about the world situation. That the situation in the world is bad, one only has to read in the newspapers, or to look at television, or to scrounge through the Internet. Some things are tragically wrong in our societies; communication techniques have failed among the different cultures, and understanding or agreement among the countries is practically zilch. So, this article writer does not intend to rain down hell, fire, and brimstone about what every country is doing wrong. Judgment will come but not from me.
This headline makes for eye-catching copy, does it not? Now, if I said that these are the actual words that accompany the email signature of a person in the U.S. who communicates, often globally, to members of his organization, would you believe me? Well, that’s the truth. I kid you not.
Many people consider me to be a lesser breed of people. That’s right I am one of them. A recruiter. It’s a dirty word. Along with estate agents and insurance brokers I fall into an ostracized category of people known as the dreaded “middle man”. Inherently, this means people do whatever they can to avoid paying me. People shrink back when I introduce myself. Some call us parasites. But the plain truth is, you all need us and if the law did not protect us, we would never get paid.