Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Multi-National Communities

Companies are 'legal people'. We talk about them as if they are real, and the law treats them as if they are real. The same is true of Countries. America exists because we say America exists. We have flags, sing songs, and try to build walls to wish them into reality. Whatever real means. Despite all that, they may not be real, but they do exist.  They have power. We ascribe actions and beliefs to them. Blame and credit. They affect us.

Under Mercantilism, the State was a Company. Nations competed in Gun-boat trade and raids. It was only the realisation that trade can be win-win that replaced gunpowder with relationship building. Companies used to receive charters that would allow them to create laws, administer them, and enforce them with police and armies. That was not clever. India was ruled by a "British" Company for 101 years. British in that, like people, we used to believe that the idea of a State and a Company are linked in the DNA.

When Companies and Countries blurred

Multi-National Companies get a little more complicated. Demand and Supply chains mean it is unclear where value is created. It is unclear where value is consumed. It is complicated, uncertain, and ambiguous. Employees can come from anywhere. Customers from anywhere.  Parts and Advice from anywhere. Owners from everywhere. Meetings can be online with participants in Sau Paulo, Bermuda, Shanghai and Sydney. This has massively diminished the power of Nation States. When your "enemy" is no longer clear because you are interdependent.

We can also massively diminish the power of Companies through cross-border community building. Companies and Countries don't need to be our sole providers of support and financial security. Multi-National Communities can be strengthened so that we don't have to be defined by where we were born, and the job that we do.

The questions become more challenging. When everyone looks like you, sounds like you, experiences the world similar to you, and has a similar story of origin... it makes it easier to point your anger somewhere else and band together. When things are bad... hit someone (else). Interdependent Communities have a lot more flavour... but they need building.

We are all Community Builders.
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