BY: Lisanne Schloss (@lisanneschloss)
Luscious, overflowing and all in one piece – one big circle of pie with all its layers and variations in every bite. They say a true friend gives you the bigger slice first, satisfying your hunger before their own. Sharing is its own reward.
The boundary/demarcation lines on the plate are blurred. What’s yours, mine, ours? The global political, resource, and demographic pie has every flavour and contrast imaginable, not all of it delicious. Yet every country, corporation, and association seemingly wants the biggest piece of the pie, if not the whole thing, all for themselves. One can only chew so much at a time.Maybe it’s time for a diet.
Every recipe starts with measurements of portions – so people cooking up our global pie begin with latitudes and longitudes, geography, currency, population, ethics, infrastructure, politics, resources and endless data weighing the pros and cons of choices. Apple or Cherry? One can examine a place from every aspect at a distance. It gives a sense of security but hardly qualifies anyone to become an instant expert on the intimate dimensions of a place. Basing a judgment solely on data is delusional. A picture is worth a thousand words, and tasting a place with all the senses is best of all.
Yet in our quest for territorial domination we now toss the word “global” around like a volleyball. We use the word to prove our prowess, camaraderie, or superiority – boasting as we name-drop cities to validate our claims of power and sophistication. Wearing the T-shirt to prove it.
What constitutes “global” seems to echo the conqueror’s biggest opportunity for conquest. Think of all the places that we discounted that might have proved worthy of an exploratory trip and possibly discover nirvana. And parts of the global pie about which we lack data, like the water masses and poles, are easily ignored. I have never heard someone say, “I built our new offices in Villa Las Estrellas.” Look it up. Really, our scope is so narrow, parochial at best.
Most corporations aspire to be global, to have employees/contractors with global experience, dual citizenship, multiple language skills, but they naively forget this comes with diversity of cultural background, morals, values, and perspectives that rarely align with existing corporate cultures. Espousing diversity yet expecting underlying mainstream conformity produces only an unavoidable irony.
Why try to be global when really we would rather happily curl up on our sofa? A whole industry has grown up to help advance international integration: the cultural awareness expert, diversity and inclusion manager, mergers and acquisitions specialist—even extending to the larger scale United Nations and Davos conference. Is there a global psychologist on hand?
When did we throw away “international” for “global”? Why be so limited? The next job descriptions will require universal or intergalactic experience.
We take the world pie and try to shape it into a loaf of bread, so that we can slice and dice as it suits us – but what a perfect way to ruin it for everyone! We justify our bloc, amalgamation, consolidation, unification, confederation every which way; the fallacy being that bigger is better eradicating the fundamental axiom: variety is the spice of life. I can hear the corporate borg saying “Resistance is futile.”