Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Someday your Prince really will come: You Stupid American (Final Part 4)

The next day, it was business as usual, until I came across one of the Jordanian air force crew. This Jordanian guy actually came up to me and says, “You are a very stupid American.” My first instinct is to roll-up my sleeves and come to blows with this Arab guy. In my culture, an individual using strong negative words is looking for a fight. Although livid about the “stupid American,” comment, I held my outburst. How dare he insult me with words, he doesn’t even know me.

I calmed down pretty quick and began to question in my mind why this guy said what he had. The best way to find out is to ask the source, so I did. I asked what the individual meant by his comment. I was informed that I had saved the crew from the embarrassment of social stripping (removal of status) and possibly even death.

Believe it or not, the crew was somehow indebted to me for helping them and had gifts prepared to bestow upon me. The member of the air crew mentioned gold. He also mentioned royal palace visits to Jordan. I was to receive a hero’s welcome for telling the truth and having the crew let off the hook. The Jordanian then went on to explain my three major faux pas (3 Strikes). The insults were enough to make the good null and void. In his words, “I get nothing.”

Correction! I hit a home run. I received one of the best life lessons ever. I received a lesson worth far more than silver or gold. I received a life changing event that led me into intercultural communication and the study of people.

Three cultural strikes and I was “Out-of-there…”

We can’t play the game unless we know the rules. My recommendation to all, is to do your homework, research, and explore other cultures before you interact, unless you like to strike-out. Find out what is expected before you have an intercultural faux pas like mine.

We interpret the world through our personal experiences – beware of U.S. centric view points. Be open to new experiences. If I had not asked the hard question I would be none the wiser.

In conclusion, the Arab people are very hospitable and courteous. Although some of the Arab social conventions are rather elaborate, they will generally “not” be offended by social mistakes stemming from ignorance. However, saying this, my Jordanian Prince experience caused me to self-reflect, seek out knowledge and study other cultures with a passion.

Ignorance is not bliss!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Someday your Prince really will come: I Didn’t Know the Jordanian’s Played Baseball (Part 3)

As I approached the plane after work, I was thinking to myself, “What am I doing?” I had no idea of how to respond or react with the Arab culture. I had no life experience interacting with a Middle-Eastern culture other than what I had learned in school or seen on television (not a good representation at all), or movies like Indiana Jones, Aladdin or Sinbad movies. Let’s just say, my knowledge pool was very slim.

Can you imagine what a Jordanian C-130 Hercules looks like? It is an American cargo plane. Well, the inside was decked out to the hilt and the greatest mental image for those who have not seen it is the Taj Mahal. Although the Taj Mahal is Indian, it will give you an excellent mental image of the inside of the plane. Nothing was spared in the tour of the C-130, experiential learning at its finest. Prince Hussein was sitting under the wing upon Persian Carpets; the surroundings were royally decorated with silk pillows, brass fixtures, crystal and other exceptional pieces. The military C-130 was a little home away from home. I approached the carpet, removed my shoes and greeted the Prince. After the greeting exchange, I was asked to sit, so I did. I sat as we were trained in Kindergarten with my legs crossed and soles facing up (criss-cross applesauce). Someone yell STRIKE-ONE! After a few minutes of idle chit-chat, I was offered some fruit dates. I politely refused the dates. In my mind, I was thinking about the Indiana Jones movie with the poison dates. I was too young to die. Did someone yell, STRIKE-TWO? Final pitch came in the form of hot tea, which I refused in a final swing: STRIKE-THREE! The Prince politely excused me. I walked slowly back to the bus thinking, thank God that is over, or was it? I would have been given a Strike-four for being anxious to leave. I was very impolite, out of ignorance and fear.

Here is an Instant Recap of my Cultural Faux Pas!


The sole of the foot is considered unclean because it touches the ground. It is considered impolite to point the sole of the foot at an Arab when sitting together. This does not mean that when sitting people cannot cross their legs, but the legs should be with soles facing the floor. American men sit with their legs crossed and the ankle of one leg resting on the knee of the other, this is perceived as being uncultured because of the sole issue. The custom is more applicable when sitting on cushions or mats at a traditional Arabic feast. Then, if seated with legs extended, the soles of the feet could point at another guest and cause insult. Generally, Arabs kneel or sit cross-legged at traditional dinners.


It is assumed that guests will accept at least a small quantity of drink offered as an expression of friendship. It is considered rude to decline the drink altogether.

Note: Never use your left hand! When you accept, only do so with the right hand. The left hand is unclean and inappropriate.


It is considered very rude to decline a host’s hospitality!

(To be continued in part 4)

Monday, May 29, 2006

Quotable: Samuel Johnson

Curiosity is one of the most permanent and certain
characteristics of a vigorous intellect.

- Samuel Johnson

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Why do we Romance the Stone, but not the Candidate?

It is our job as recruiting professionals to romance the candidate. We need to ensure the candidate is receiving the message we intend to send. As in every relationship, communication is the key to success. When communication fails, so will the relationship.

The Three Top Ingredients in a Successful Candidate Relationship:

1). Communication: We have to talk and ask questions about each other. We need to better understand who each of us really are. Send emails, leave voicemails and keep the interactions warm. Communication is verbal and nonverbal, be sure your words match your body language. Send any information you can without compromising your business confidential information.

2). In order to build relationships you need to invest time in both personal and professional interactions. Contact is essential and necessary, contact in person is better than contact electronically (virtual).

3). Relationships need time. Do not rush the candidate. Time is critical, but time to decide is an important step to allow ample determination of a good fit. Remember, we are not putting posteriors in a chair we are putting key personnel in strategic positions. Think of it like trying on a nice pair shoes. Get the right fit the first time.

Now ask yourself: How can I Uniquely Romance the Candidate?

  • Invite the candidate and their direct family for a site visit and city tour if living out of town. Allow single candidates to bring a friend. Singles like company too. If the company will pay for a family of four or five, why not allow a single candidate the companionship of a friend. Stories are full of intangible value and word of mouth is the best marketing strategy. A good friend to share a new experience will enhance the trip.

  • Pick up the candidate and family/guest at the airport. This is especially important if the candidate is international. Often times we don’t think about the individual and the stress of being somewhere new. Many people from around the world only have a Hollywood interpretation of the United States. Check out the hotel to ensure it is up to par and then stock their fridge with a few free snacks and drinks. Go the extra mile and it will make a huge difference.

  • Take the candidate and guest/s to dinner. Select a restaurant that is appropriate for conversation and yet fun. Be sure to ask the candidate is there are any diet restrictions (religious, cultural, and food allergies) and the easiest way is to accomplish this, is to ask the candidate what type of food they prefer.

  • Make the visit memorable and fun. Show off your company, town and entertainment available. Fun is always good.

  • Give the candidate the + and – of the area. Never sugar-coat the negative. Let the candidate know the pros and cons of the area up front.

  • Send a cool thank you to the candidate. A few examples include food! Huge cookies with a message, fruit with cool recruiting gadgets, meal voucher in their home town when they get back and so much more.

Oh the things we can do if we only make the effort. Intangible benefits are worth calculating. The proof is in the pudding: Whatever that means to your candidate.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Someday your Prince really will come: Too Close for Comfort (Part 2)

The Prince was walking toward me, so I exited the bus. Have you ever experienced an invasion of your privacy or private (personal) space? In the U.S., we like to speak at arms distance, unless we invite someone into our more intimate space. The Prince came toward me and stopped when we were toe-to-toe. I was totally out of my comfort zone. Firstly, I had no idea how to even address a Prince. Secondly, the Prince was inside my personal space and I was very cognizant of the fact. As we stood toe-to-toe the Prince looked me over. After some silence, silence wasn’t golden in this instance. The Prince finally asked me, “What took place?” “What Happened?” “How long did it take?” To make me even more self conscious, the Prince’s nose was extremely close to my mouth, as if smelling my breath. All I could think about was “What did I have for lunch,” and “Is my breath offensive.” I was feeling a little intimidated and afraid to speak, let alone breathe on the Prince, but somehow I managed to explain the situation.

After explaining, the Prince stood there for what seemed an eternity. My breath and my stare were totally exposed. After what seemed like an eternity, the Prince finally extended an invitation to come back to the plane and sit with him, when I got off work. I accepted the invitation, thinking to myself, “Oh crap, what do I do now?”

(To be continued in part 3)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Someday your Prince really will come: Will you be ready? (Part 1)

In 1992, I was working public relations for the International Air Tattoo at RAF Fairford England when a Jordanian Prince came into my life. Royalty from all over the world attended the air show. I volunteered to drive a bus around the airfield picking up pilots and aircrew and driving them back and forth across the airfield to eat at the aircrew dining facility. One of His Majesty King Hussein of Jordan’s sons, Prince Hussein, stopped me to ask where his flight crew could get some food. The Prince required his aircrew to return within 45 minutes. With an air show taking place, timing is essential.

Crossing an active runway during an air show isn’t the easiest task to complete. After a long journey across the active runway and many planes taking off and landing, I finally got the aircrew to the dining facility so they could eat. They departed the bus. Thinking nothing of it, I was thanked by the Jordanian crew and I drove away to my next adventure.

Later that day, I see a distraught Jordanian pilot running toward my bus waving his hands and yelling for me to stop. I immediately noticed the pilot had a torn flight suit with no patches. As I slowed the bus, the Jordanian slapped both hands up on the front of my bus in an effort to ensure I stopped, as if that would stop a bus. When I opened the doors I heard an Arabic accent requesting I speak with the Prince. “Please tell the Prince the story, please tell him what happened,” the pilot exclaimed. Peering down at his flight suit I could only imagine the pain this man and the other individuals must be experiencing, so I agreed. I knew how long it took to get across the air field and could only imagine how late they must have been.

(To be continued in part 2)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Quotable: Thoreau

Do not hire an individual who does your work for money, but an individual who does it for the love of it.

- Henry David Thoreau

Friday, May 19, 2006

Quotable: Chesterton

A stiff apology is a second insult... The injured party does not want to be compensated because he has been wronged; he wants to be healed because he has been hurt.

- Gilbert K. Chesterton

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Diversity Cinema: Arab & Jew: Return to the Promised Land

In 1988, documentary filmmaker Robert Gardner visited the Middle East to personally explore one of the most contentious political rivalries of all time, and the result was the acclaimed PBS report Arab and Jew: Wounded Spirits in a Promised Land. Over a decade later, Gardner returned to Israel and the West Bank and once again lets both Israelis and Palestinians speak for themselves as they discuss the issues that separate them (such as Jewish settlements in the West Bank, the right to return, and possession of Jerusalem), how their views have changed in the wake of the Oslo peace negotiations, and how much still remains the same.

In a well balanced, unbiased presentation, neither anti-Jew nor anti-Arab, Robert Gardner unfolds reasons, reality, and passion on both sides of the issue of ownership and preservation. This preservation of existence disseminates a lack of compassion on all sides, the uncontrollable tensions, and the ultimate feud.

The film describes a land given by God to the Jewish people (the Promised Land) versus a land occupied by Arab people, since the 7th century (thousands of years). With ten years past since the original documentary, not a lot of change has occurred. A strong connection still exists with the land on both sides. Is the land Zion or Palestine? One individual from Palestine expressed, "Return to our land by Palestine is not a fantasy, but a solemn promise." On the other hand, the Jewish people suffering from the mass destruction memory of the holocaust, occupy and protect their promise and stake in the land.

Below is a short bulleted list of a few issues from the documentary film with a potential correlation to the heated disagreement between Arabs and Jews:
  • At one time, the three sons, Jewish, Muslim, and Christian lived peacefully together. Has there really ever been peace in the Middle East? Did the European Jews moving back to the Holy Land after the holocast experience, break the harmony of the land? Are the three cultures too different to co-exist or did fear drive the separation.
  • Ziad Abbas says, "Why is someone coming to take my land?" Palestinians were forced out of their family homes and Jewish settlers took over their land and homes, a land previously owned by the Jews. However, imagine a land with generations of your family buried in it, being taken over and you now have no access to it.
  • One individual expressed, "Equality equals throwing no one into the sea!"
  • Occupation and control of everything is the number one issue according to an interviewed Arab. Arab hopes are broken. This brokenness causes desperation and desperate people are very dangerous.
  • Humiliation is a grinding point that enrages Arabs. The young and old alike are all treated as terrorists. This racial profiling drives people crazy. Most Arabs and Jews, even neighbors, do not speak. Talking is very important in understanding others!
  • Segregation exists, "Apartment for sale, Jews only." The unspoken rule is live together, but in your own place. Some Arabs ask, "Are we a cancer in your midst?" What is a major and a minor citizen?
  • One Israeli Mother said, "Once you succumb to bullet proof vests and helmets, you have lost your freedom."
  • In the Arab and Jew relationship everything is black and white, there is no room for shades of grey.
  • Arab and Jews are imprisoned by history. Both sides are blinded to injustice today, but have 20/20 vision to 3 thousand years ago.
  • Lastly, one individual described the relationship of Arab and Jew to a divorce. It is all over, but the body count. Unfortunately, this is an expression of, "It will never change."

Monday, May 15, 2006

How does slang impact intercultural knowledge transfer?

As the Western world transitions into a knowledge society, one must ask, “How does slang impact intercultural knowledge transfer and interaction?” What does slang mean? How do I keep up with all the new words and old words with totally different meanings, which are often times not defined or found in an older Dictionary. Let’s examine Wikipedia’s definition of slang below:

Wikipedia defines slang as sharing at least two of the following four traits:

  1. First, it is markedly lower in dignity than Standard English.

My first question is who is defining our dignity? I suggest the slang communicator or the out-group users of slang were not offered the opportunity to contest and/or add input to this power and privileged definition created by the in-group. One must admit the out-group’s creation of a new language is awfully innovative. Organizations often create acronyms (business slang) to communicate in a special, privileged way. The intent of slang is to communicate and identify with a single group. The creation of an in-group necessitates the ability to keep out-groups out. Knowledge of slang and/or acronyms exclude others.

In intercultural interactions, including language barriers, how in the world are international counterparts going to learn English as a second or third language when slang words are used in place of defined words? Try training in another country using everyday English, including slang. For example, “That’s cool!” Are you cold? Or, “He is flying by the seat of his pants.” How does an individual get lift without a motor?

  1. Second, it tends to first appear in the language of groups with low status, meaning they may have little power or little responsibility.

Am I wrong or is this an over stated generalization concerning status, power and responsibility? This generalization appears as an attempt to maintain one group’s status? Who is creating and defining the status? In the past, education has been a privilege, in the future education (knowledge consumption) is for all. Although education has never been an indication of intelligence, it is power. If we agree that knowledge is power, then why are we adopting social and business slang to keep others out and guessing? In a world where knowledge transfer is quickly becoming the key to power, we need a way to transcend beyond all natural language barriers. We need to ease the transfer of knowledge and remove barriers to understanding. The word dog (lacking social morals) should mean dog (canine).

  1. Third, it is often taboo and would be unlikely to be used by people of high status.

The third point is again, a generalization of status and power, this time adding in a criminal element in the lower status groups of people. Is this suggesting that higher status people only use more scholarly, educated English and that they do not commit crimes? Is there no slang among the higher status? What is a statement like “The eagle has landed,” mean? White collar crime is usually more devastating than blue! Is Cordozar Calvin Broadus Jr. better renowned as Snoop Dog, part of the higher status in-group? Does wealth define the in-group today?

  1. Fourth, it tends to displace a conventional term, either as a short-hand or as a defense against perceptions associated with the conventional term.

Today, marketing professionals are creating and adapting slang (new words) to market products. For example, Mazda’s use of an old word with a new word definition, “zoom-zoom,” I thought a car went Vroom and a camera Zoomed, I was wrong. “Zoom-Zoom starts with a visual promise. Mazda vehicles are designed to not only catch the eye; they convey an immediate image of youthful exuberance, style and driving fun (Mazda).”

In conclusion, slang continues to grow even though the use of slang is a detriment to a global society and successful global knowledge transfer. The ability to transfer knowledge over and around such barriers will continue to be a major challenge as long as we use and adopt slang. Scholarly writing is necessary to enable knowledge transfer among intercultural educated groups as it demands the nonuse of slang and standardizes the use of language for all educated groups regardless of diverse culture. In other words, it sets the stage for fairness in communication.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Intercultural Word for the Day: Translation

Some words do not translate well across cultures and languages. Companies like Babelfish provide an online translation tool that is becoming more popular in converting written text in one language into another (i.e., English to Spanish). Note to the wise, be careful when relying on an online tool to translate your message, as words are often times lost in translation. The message sent, is not always the message received. In translation efforts, it is crucial that translations are researched and reviewed by cultural experts in each language. It is very important to use expert translators that understand cultural metaphors, cultural taboos, cultural slang, and cultural perceptions.

A personal realization of this translation issue occurred when a Chinese counterpart was invited to an American “Brown-Bag” meeting. To the American workforce a brown-bag meeting is a lunch meeting. Global brown-bag meetings may be lunch in one region and the middle of the night for another. To my Chinese counterpart the brown-bag held no meaning. I was asked, “What is a brown-bag?” The light went on. Terms we use everyday may not be understood across geographies.

Some examples of global blunders include urban legends. A fun book to read on international translation faux pas is by David A. Ricks, titled, Blunders in International Business. Although, every story has two sides, the General Motors (GM) example of the Chevy Nova doing poorly in Spanish speaking countries is a classic. Urban legend or not, it sure emphasizes the importance of translation. The message was sent and received loud and clear. "No VA" in Spanish translates to "No Go" in English. Even if sales were high, they can always be higher. Don’t lose because you overlook the important aspect of translation. Be careful what you decide to translate.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Intercultural Word for the Day: Recognition (Gifts)

What is recognition? Recognition is an ambiguous word like love and it does not cross global boundaries well. An important question to ask is, “How does the individual or team like to be recognized? In America, an individual may be singled out and recognized for their efforts; however, in China or Japan the team is recognized - there are no individuals. Forgetting the cultural norms of recognition and/or appropriate gifts for each country is a major faux pas.

10 Things to consider with recognizing others:

1. Is the culture a collectivistic (i.e., Japan) or individualistic culture (i.e., USA)

2. Is the recognition appropriate for that culture (For example, in China, a clock symbolizes death and sharp objects send a message of conflict)

3. Is the number of items in a recognition or gift appropriate or inappropriate (Ask yourself what odd and even mean in the culture. In Russia, an even number of flowers (including 1 dozen), are used only for funerals. In China, the number 4 is associated with death).

4. Is the color of the item appropriate? (In many cultures, black often symbolizes a funeral or death. In the Philippines, red or green is suitable for wrapping paper. Green is a sacred color to Muslims.

5. Is the value appropriate? (In Taiwan, The Taiwanese give very generous gifts. Americans and other visitors should be prepared to reciprocate with gifts of the same value).

6. Is the symbol or object appropriate (You don’t want to select a gift that has a negative or unlucky association so be sure to understand what the cultural meaning is?)

7. Is it appropriate to plan a recognition event or is the element of surprise okay?

8. How many times will a culture refuse a recognition or gift before accepting it?

9. What is important to the person or group receiving the recognition?

10. Make a memorable moment and/or exchange that will create an excellent memory. Corporate recognition is generally placed into a box or thrown away after an employee leaves a company. Give a gift that will follow the person/team through life.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Diversity is, as Diversity Does. Recruit and Retain!

If you are to attract, hire, develop and retain the best talent (future employees), you must nurture an environment where talented employees of “all kinds” can thrive and do their best work. An inclusive workplace produces unique perspectives and enhances innovation at work. Diversity is more than just a workforce development strategy; it is a business necessity!

Businesses today must go way beyond its regulations to create a warm, trustworthy, inclusive environment that not only attracts, but also retains. Putting any ole buttock in a chair is easy. Finding the right person is a serious challenge. If your company measures its success (any buttock in a chair) with this data, I laugh out loud. Bad measurements are a waste of time and effort, equating to lost money. This measurement doesn’t measure “Jack.” A better measurement and change indicator is keeping the talent and tracking their retention. Top diverse employees desiring to stay and progress, is the part most companies over look. How long is your diverse staff remaining with your company? Why? What is your company doing wrong or right?

Top Ten Diversity Enhancing Techniques:

1. Be open to difference. Promote diversity initiatives at your company and the positives surrounding diversity; squash negative perceptions (quotas and tokens) with knowledge.

2. Ensure you are recruiting during the right time, at the right schools, and the right events. Be on target, which means doing some serious research.

3. Don’t overlook highly qualified candidates. It is important to look both holistically and individually at a candidate. In order to understand an applicant’s whole package and the candidate’s road to success, you must understand that all students have different backgrounds in regards to opportunity. Some roads have more barriers (challenges) than others. Understand these challenges! For example, disability, financial, head-of-household, 3 jobs while attending school and many others.

4. Ensure that your recruiting staff and interviewers are a good mirror reflection/representation of your corporate diversity.

5. Recruiters and interviewers should be knowledgeable on diversity and why your organization embraces it.

6. Organizational charts should reflect diversity. Charts with pictures work well. This lends itself towards proof there is opportunity for diverse candidates at your company. Pictures paint a thousand words.

7. Prepare to make offers quickly; Time is of the essence, as top talent is scooped up fast. Snooze and you will lose.

8. Show off and be proud of the diversity at your organization. Publications, magazines, video clips, and awards help disseminate the truth. Recruiters (sales men and women) have a job to do, some will say anything to fill a job. Back up your mouth with facts and data.

9. Track retention and diligently research trends that negatively impact your diverse hires staying with your company (understand why employees are leaving and more positively, staying).

10. Become very creative in your future hiring plans. Think about sponsoring opportunities for diverse candidates early on, like high school. Invest in the future! Develop and advertise internship programs. Offer sharp candidates opportunity they may not otherwise have. Mentor up the next generation and help guide them into careers.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What is your Cultural Intelligence?

A wise man once said, “I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing(Socrates).

Every company sets out to hire the most intelligent people they can, so I know your company is no different. I think it is safe to say, you have some of the most brilliant minds in the world working at your company. Will anyone admit, “I have nothing to learn?” Knowing in advance that no one will honestly admit they have nothing to learn, I ask you today, “Do you have cultural intelligence?”

In 1958, authors William Lederer and Eugene Burdick wrote a best selling book titled, “The Ugly American.” Are you an Ugly American?

"For some reason, the people I meet in my country are not the same as the ones I knew in the United States. A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they're frightened and defensive, or maybe they're not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance" (Lederer and Burdick).

In the global world in which we live, we can not afford to make mistakes out of ignorance. Knowledge and skills are available to everyone through Online resources and also through intercultural classroom training for a fee. Other resources are free for the avid seeker. Understanding the need for cultural awareness and sensitivity is just the beginning. The world is growing smaller every day, “How well you interact with others really depends upon your level of cultural intelligence and understanding.”

Enhancing respect and trust and eliminating the “Ugly American” stereotype requires each of us to act like ants. As the ant collects morsels of food in the summer to survive the winter, we should collect cultural tid bits in the same way, as one never knows when the knowledge and skills will come in handy. Just because you have no intercultural interaction today, doesn’t mean you won’t have an opportunity tomorrow. Intercultural lessons are a life time journey.

Cultural short-sightedness and/or a lack of cultural competency or care, is the reason many international relationships and ventures fail. I was told by a professional (anonymous) first generation immigrant to America, “People are very nice here, but they just don’t care about learning about other cultures.” The challenge isn’t the lack of technical or professional expertise, individuals have plenty intelligence, it is a lack of care or desire to look at the world differently. Developing global cultural competency is one of the most challenging aspects of working globally.

In today’s global workplace, being culturally savvy is no longer just “a nice to have,” but rather the key to success. “What are you doing to increase your cultural intelligence?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Intercultural Word for the Day: Respect

Every human being desires and deserves respect. What is it? Respect is a proper attitude and acknowledgement of every individual’s value as a person, regardless of personal bias, stereotype and lifestyle. Respect calls for making a genuine effort to understand and educate your self on another’s culture (sub-culture). Respect requires us to take a close look into another’s values, social customs, and traditions, without developing an ethnocentric misjudgment. Respect calls for putting your self outside your comfort zone. It takes courage to respect others, as it allows each person their dignity and worth.

Ten ways to show your Openness to Difference

  1. Use the internet to research a specific culture or subculture
  2. Attend formal intercultural training (Seek to understand)
  3. Read a book on the culture or subculture (Author from the culture)
  4. Look for celebrations/activities to attend (i.e., Asian heritage)
  5. Get out of your comfort zone (Immerse yourself)
  6. Volunteer to help
  7. Learn a new language
  8. Question your biases and stereotypes
  9. Educate yourself
  10. Have fun

Monday, May 01, 2006

Talking Bout My Generation

I am only one of 50 million (1/50,000,000) in Generation “X,” hear my cry! Instead of being tagged a generation X’er we should be called, “The generation that continually does more with less.” Are the older generations trying to force us into a routine to get us ready for their retirement? The generation with less people are doing much more to get the job done! In every professional position I have held, the “Do more with less,” business decision always raises its ugly head. Examples include the U.S. Military cutting loose its middle management under President Bill Clinton, Intel Corporation and other high-tech companies outsourcing positions to
China and India, and it continues on today.

For example, Friday, April 27, 2006, Intel’s CEO, Paul Otellini announces further drives to do more with less. These initiatives often have nice names like, “Re-structuring, Re-alignment and Re-deployment.” Traditional “Lay-offs” just aren’t politically correct. Is this the right decision? Maybe.

In 1997, I was talking to manufacturing technicians about seeking advanced degrees, because I thought and predicted, 10 years out that high-tech manufacturing in the United States, manufacturing will die a horrible death. We are one year off of my ten year vision and the death of high-tech manufacturing is coming to fruition. It is called progression, although it might take a little longer than my 10 year prediction, it is coming. America needs to wake up and smell the roses. Don’t worry, they don’t really smell like “Poo-Poo,” as in the popular “C-RAP" genre, song by OutKast, titled, “Roses.”

The American future is not manufacturing matter, but rather knowledge and the dissemination of such.

I question the present model of upgrading computers and computer packaging. As a consumer, I don’t want to upgrade my whole computer every 4 years, there is no point. Let’s do more with less in consumer buying and marketing. If the Intel and Apple partnership want to be effective in consumer upgrades, implement a real plug and play strategy. Here is my desire. I want a cool package like Apple produces with Intel hardware that is exchangeable. I don’t want to replace my whole computer system every 4 years. Where is the win-win strategy in that? I see Intel and Apple winning, but I am not Intel or Apple, what do I win? I am your customer! Are you listening? Here are my two demands as a consumer:

  1. I want my computer system as a whole to be upgradeable with ease. Quit making us throw out the old and fill-up landfills everywhere with outdated technology. Environmentalists will thank you, I will thank you.
  1. I don’t want to unscrew anything- I want slip-in, slip-out, i.e., pull the Pentium 4 out and slip the Titanium in, reboot the system and all is a go. Compatibility is necessary. I don’t have time to mess around.

In essence, we can all implement “Do more with less.” It is the right decision. To actually leap ahead, we must all “Do more with less.”