(De)Fragmentation

Not a week goes by that I’m not baffled by yet another new technological, medical or other scientific discovery. They come in increasingly shorter intervals, from all over the world, as if there’s been a perfect storm cooking over the past decade to enthuse us with the positive impact all these can have on our lives.

Not a week goes by that I’m not baffled by yet another act of fear, anger or narcissism. They come in increasingly shorter intervals, from all over the world, western, eastern and somewhere in between alike. As if there has been a perfect storm cooking over the past decade to overwhelm us with the negative impact all these acts have on our lives.

Not a week goes by that I don’t see (personal) brands and countries make choices for the greater good of earth-kind. Also not a week goes by that I don’t see (personal) brands and governments hold on to governance that favours the ones that have. I too see companies dedicate their existence to a purpose that is greater than serving their Customers. And I see companies fighting their stakeholders to extract even more short term value for just a few.

We’re in the middle of the Big Shift.

In the realm of all this I don’t see people come together. To the contrary, I see them drift apart. Lead by those that promise a safe harbor for the likeminded, but are in fact creating a fragmented world. A fragmentation which is the consequence of the desire for assimilation. Because in a place where all must fit into a narrow mold, no one feels really at home. This is when countries leave the EU, when Turks all over the world are divided in goods and bads, when gays are reluctant to walk hand in hand or kiss in public, even in (what used to be) the gay capital of the world.  And this is when muslim women are denied their fundamental right to wear what they want and like as an expression of their belief.

This is when my son (age 10) does not fit into the school system, because the system is not designed for “his kind” and also not for a couple of other “kinds” that science created over the past decade or so. This is when moroccan kids in The Netherlands age 16 have difficulty getting a job to pay for college because the grocery shop owner thinks his Customers will not like that.

This is when I decide not to comment on a LinkedIn post on Burkini’s, because it is a business fragment, not suited for personal/political opinion. This is when I write this post not knowing (yet) if I will publish. This is not me.

Do you embrace diversity?

Because I’m an optimist who’s enjoying the ride. I have always, without much hesitation, nailed my colours to the mast, feeling free to do so. And I’m a person who cares deeply about his belief in a world where (business) leaders, communities and people in general embrace diversity, where everyone respects the beliefs of others, and allows for them to be expressed in a live and let live kind of way.

These are both challenging and exiting times. Change is here to stay.

Someone said that it is the ones best capable of adapting to changing circumstances who will survive and thrive. I like to add that it is probably the leaders and their organizations, countries or communities who have truly embraced diversity in all aspects of their “ways” who are most likely to be the ones best capable of doing so.

For these are the ones that defragment, build communities and create a cohesive society or organization. And that is what creates and attracts positive spirited people. People who have the mental flexibility to adapt and to support others in doing the same, albeit in their different and own way. And we need these people big time, because the scientific & technological pace of change is only just warming up.

What do you do?

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