Facebook has recently announced its new cryptocurrency which is called, Libra. Libra will be independent of Facebook and will evolve not only as a currency but a financial institution eventually. Facebook being one of the three tech giants, entered the cryptocurrency race and this is not surprising.
Governments and regulators are uniquely aware of the benefits as well as the concerns about the dominance of the big 3: wiping small competitors, disregarding regulations and rules, and imposing their heftiness on every one else.
When giants ruled the earth, a billion years ago, the rest of the species grew too. And yet in the era of uber-competition and massive technological race, it is really a zero-sum game- the swiftest with the mostest?
If the government can't battle with the billion-dollar corporations in terms of implementing regulations to support consumers' interests, where will the consumers go for protection, support, and welfare?
In geo-politics, the rise of the two superpowers 60 years ago culminated in the dominance of only one big superpower- the United States of America which became the 'accidental cop' of the world. Yet, regional powers have emerged with renewed vigor, upsetting the hegemony of a superpower using trade, economics, and partnerships to leverage their reach amongst other nations and impose their interests.
This echoes what has been the current narrative about it: it is good when it is benevolent and moral, and it's really bad when it acts like an evil empire- which can be embodied in one organization at any given time.
As an awarded diversity champion, there is one thing I can say about companies and organizations that wanted to become inclusive, diverse, and highly effective.
Diversity is not a noun, it is a 'verb.' Diversity should be celebrated not something to be used as a weapon against lawsuits and the "me-too environment."
While I say 'to be celebrated' I do not mean, the song, dance, festivals, and 'smell-my-shirt' exercises. These are superficial gestures that do not translate to meaningful and profound change in the workplace- a healthy and positive work environment for all.
Diversity should not be a politically correct thing to have, it is present in all humanity, not just for minorities, differently-abled, and those that have visible differences amongst us. Everyone is different and is to be respected and valued as contributing force to the organization and society in general.
While companies and public organizations strive to become the epitome of inclusion, the pendulum has swung far too much. From forced self-identification, joining the bandwagon, creating massive investments when it is not necessary, and using aggressive tactics to win over the majority have become the "self-destruction' tools" so to speak. When it has been distorted that way, it loses its potency for social transformation.
Since the 1960s and 1980s, the proverbial 'glass ceiling' for women leaders especially for the C-suites had been addressed. Yet until now, it is still a huge issue. I don't think there is an actual glass ceiling. I believe that right now, it is about women not trying at all and afraid to take the leadership position and turn it around for their benefit and advantage. Last time I checked, it is as wide open as anyone with the breadth of experience, high-level of education, and tenacious personality that can withstand corporate politics and organizational pressures.
We need to push back on distorted diversity and inclusion. This is not what we want either. We should turn our back against the mob-based bashing and hate-mongering that uses our differences for political ends. Sorry, I am not joining your march.
Let us understand that diversity and inclusion is a verb. It contains specific behaviors, attitudes, and mindsets that needed to be integrated in our everyday conversations and interactions with each other as we make our workplaces the best place to enhance and enrich our professional, hence our personal lives too.
ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS AND BE PREPARED TO LISTEN
There is no better place than asking employees what would make each one of them feel truly valued, respected, and included in both their work as employees, as part of the team, and as a contributor of the organizational culture.
I worked with a municipal organization as a newcomer immigrant. This was totally an alien culture to me, not just the North American workplace culture, but working in a government organization interfacing with Canadians. It was coming all at once at the same time. It was difficult for the first few years adjusting to myriad of issues, interests, and differences!
If you were the HR personnel in change of inclusion practices, how would you get a newcomer employer to talk openly about themselves and learn more about their co-workers in an atmosphere of respect and trust and vice-versa? How would you create the conditions and situations where it is safe and friendly but genuine?
COMMIT TO MAKING INCLUSION AN EVERYDAY PRACTICE
In the news, we hear about lawsuits and counter-lawsuits of many types and of various situations involving diversity and inclusion. It is time to turn the issue around- from reactive work to proactive, preventative, relationship-building work which for most part, is what really about. There is no short cut.
From accommodation, we should move towards real integration towards healthy, inclusive, and innovative communities of work. The accommodation era is over. Special treatments and accommodation arrangements do not actually reflect the kinds of changes that needed to happen in the organization to embed inclusion. These artificial stop-gap measures increase the antagonism and defensiveness instead build cooperation from those employees that became disadvantaged because of it. There is not a lot of resources to go around in the first place.
Instead of pitting groups over the other, companies should invest in everyday culture work that involves not only building camaraderie and collegial atmosphere but by picking up on ways to incorporate diverse voices in issues that affect employees at all levels of organization.
IT SHOULD RESULT TO OUTSTANDING BOTTOM-LINE RESULTS
Diverse and inclusive organizations are leaders and trailblazers in their own right. They have turned the potent bomb of diversity to work for themselves. They celebrated it and rejoice in its fullest expression which leads to more innovation and cutting-edge work. The best minds are harnessed and harvest as a policy, not an exception.
True diversity and inclusion work starts in knowing the long-term business value of these efforts and why it should be a recipe for success for all organizations, for now and for the near future.
This is not about the legal profession or how the justice works in this country.
The reason for this metaphor is that some organizations refuse to become more accountable by having structures and systems in place that will permit more accountability, shared responsibility, greater transparency, thus creating a better managed entity. This is good for the shareholders, stakeholders, partners, clients, customers, staff, suppliers, contractors, donors, funders, collaborators, and other constituencies outside the inner circle of influence. This is good for reputation, image, credibility, integrity, and being trusted is always the best compliment.
There is the ideal checks and balance approach to ensuring that those who are in positions of power share the burden of decision-making, risks management, financial management, oversight with a committee duly elected/nominated to carry the responsibilities. There is a balance of power in a sense that no one person or group holds enough sway that could tip the organization to undesirable direction.
There are powerful clichés within organizations that tend to overrule the rest who are the 'silent majority.' Sometimes, they are the ruling minority and with that being said, can create move havoc than anticipated. For clichés to proliferate, there is an ideal environment for it. Sounds familiar?
When there are no clear accountabilities, lines of responsibility, agreed-upon performance evaluation, sound rewards and demerits, shared power structure, things can go sideways any time.
When one person becomes the proverbial judge, jury, and executioner, don't expect much from the organization that's only intention is to survive any coup d'etats or hostile takeovers. Or even yet, wait until the founder dies.
The President of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte had to use some very explicit strong statements to convey that the Canadian trash should be removed in the Philippine soil immediately.
Where on earth is this country going?
I came from the Philippines and decided to move to Canada on the basis that Canada is a better country over-all.
Yet, the current political, economic, and moral situation in this country leaves me thinking if this is the right decision.
Canada, a developed country cannot find the solution to this crisis in the swiftest, most diplomatic, apologetically way in a sign of weakness in governance, political will, and moral ascendancy.
If a contractor has failed on its responsibilities to deliver its services in international setting, that contractor has to be black-listed, its license revoked, and be publicly chastised, before there is considerable improvement in its work. With all the bureaucracy in the government, they cannot find who is responsible, accountable, and have the oversight on these issues. The government cannot say, 'this is not us, it is a private contractor's work."
Where is your oversight, excuse me? Washing your hands like Caesar only proves that you don't really care and instead of being truly sorry, you started finger-pointing.
The government of Canada is duty-bound to be a friendly and honorable member of the international community as the UN Charter imposes. Any thing that represents Canada to another country is either, a source of concern and pride, hopefully not a lot of the former. It is not a surprise, that with all the problems it is creating in the world, it is not safe to fly Canadian flags in another country any more or a sticker in a vehicle.
Who cares whether it was an act of government or a private contractor? When a crisis happens, correct the problem immediately, take the microphone and admit there is a problem and restore friendly relations back.
There is no time to do the blame-game and pretend the problem doesn't exist.
With the recent scandal on school admission bribery in the US, eight universities are being investigated by the US Education Department.
When wealth, abuse of power, lack of accountability corrupt institutions such as colleges and universities, it showed two things:
That people in power and authority that are supposed to be bastions of integrity, ethics, and high moral leadership can give in to the temptations of the job. This begs the questions about the effectiveness (ineffectiveness) of the people that should be guarding the process, ensuring clear lines of reporting and accountability, supervision, and guidance. Where are they and what were they doing when these things have been going on for years?!
When institutions are weak, corruption can take its place without detection. It is allowed to be bought by people who doesn't care about rules and equity for all. The moment greed and personal self-indulgence and selfishness rule in any place, there is no more meritocracy and respect for individual achievement through hard work and ethical performance, it is all about who can buy its own way to success and stay unscathed when the hands of justice will swing again.
This is an unfair world. A deserving student who had no pedigree or family wealth to back him/her out cannot dream of an Ivy League education or more less get it in these times. But when wealth/power overrule merit, then this country (or any country) for that matter is on its way to ruins.
You are lucky enough to have a job right now!
What does it mean if it comes from a supervisor, boss, manager, or the Head of your department?
Two things come to mind:
1. Better shut up, get to work. Take the job or leave it.
2. Don’t think about making suggestions to improve your work or your work environment. It is what it is.
This is not a very empowering statement. But I heard it from a manager a few years ago. At first, she better be kidding, but yes, it was an opening statement in a meeting with employees in our division. The looming context was a departmental budget cut, possible lay-offs, and a restructuring. But despite the depressing reality at that time, the manager positioned herself defensively by not addressing any question but by simply stating what is to come in a few months. The memo will be sent to those that will be affected by these changes.
People in higher positions saying these are themselves powerless in a bureaucratic organization where the safest bet is to push it down to more powerless people in the organization. It starts from the top.
That being said, if there is no genuine care, concern, and commitment to workers' welfare and well-being, it shows not only in policies but also in language and attitudes of the management.
I have come to understand one thing from that meeting. There is no real progress in a career/ in a work environment where you are made to shut up and just do the job.
I was lucky to leave in five months!