Having been involved with varying industries over the last 30+ years, one thing remains constant. Every business, industry, vocation sees their environment, their issues, problems as unique. My bosses would say, yeah Shane you know how you worked at X, well, they had their way of doing things and we have ours, because we’re different.
I will be honest, I did believe this to be the case. New industry, new problems.
Every year though, and with every industry, I began to see flaws in this argument. Could we really be all that different? Now I realise this to be a misnomer bought on insular thinking and a lack of understanding of the true constant.
The most underestimated, most misunderstood, untapped resource in any business, any industry, any vocation.
Those in charge, tend to rely on the group closest to them (other people in charge) for guidance, the subordinate tends to rely on other subordinates. Industries tend to look for solutions in similar industries. Education is looked to provide skills and knowledge enhancement to improve businesses but unfortunately as education cannot provide immediate solutions, business often go back to looking within themselves and similar industries for panaceas.
Sure, whilst we are all people, we do all come from varying backgrounds but that in and of itself creates a dynamic that can provide novel and unique perspectives not previously thought of to be the collective wisdom.
The same can be said for culture. Believe it or not, businesses, industries, religious groups, community groups all share a commality in Culture. Each group shares similar beliefs and values (sometimes these beliefs and values are similar across the groups, but beliefs and values systems exist regardless). Defence of these beliefs and values are also strong cultural commonalities.
At the end of the day, our groups, businesses, industries and vocations are not all that un-alike because they involve culture and they involve people. Cornerstones of community.
There’s that theme again.
This, believe it or not, is a good thing. A great thing. It means that the more ideas are shared, discussed and considered, the greater the chance for collegiate processes to foster holistic improvement across the board, regardless of the group in question.
It is, unfortunately, our ‘village thinking’ as opposed to global thinking, that holds us back. One of the greatest things that our current interconnectivity provides us with, is an exposure to more culture, more groups, more businesses, more industries and an opening of the realisation of possibilities that we might be more alike than our current world view permits. As our planet grows smaller through the exchange of ideas across countries, continents and cultures, so to will our issues and problems. Problems shared, are problems halved. It’s an old saying for a reason.
It’s the reason I started this blog. To share my thoughts, my points of view, my interpretations of issues that affect us as the collective body of humankind. I want to stretch my own thinking. I want to challenge the status quo. For most of my adult life, in business, industry and community I accepted the corporate line. I accepted that each industry or group was different. I now know that cannot be, because people and culture are involved. I recently questioned the status quo and after a fleeting moment of butterflies in my stomach, it was empowering.
The next time someone says, we are different, challenge them. Truly, challenge them.