Cross-cultural expertise is the marketing tool of a future that’s come for us like a high-speed train. While that train may go through tunnels and across challenging terrain with new technology, COVID-19 has shrunk our world and that train is gathering speed. Our workforce, our suppliers, and, above all, our marketing professionals need the skill set of cross-cultural communication, cultural competence, conflict management, and problem-solving. They are the fuel to compete in the future and without them, the train may miss its target destination and risk derailment.
Technology has long taken us beyond borders and today. we are more virtual than onsite, The good news is that we are acquiring the skills of neuro-scientists and expanding our minds to speed up the acquisition of new knowledge. We are empowering Big Picture creativity to navigate complex trends. Leaders understand that they need to earn trust and inspire vision, gifts of cross-cultural expertise. …
Computers have pointed us in that direction for almost 50 years. When my mother insisted that I take the first computer programming elective offered at my high school during the 1960s, I thought she was nuts. I was focused on learning Russian and preparing for a catastrophic moment in the Cold War. But Mom informed me in her soft sweet voice that computers were the change shaping the future and she was commanding, not suggesting. And if that weren’t weird enough, she insisted that I take a typing class to ramp up my keyboard speed.
Mom was ahead of the curve, but not alone. In 1969, a scientist at the US patent office wrote about how computers would change life and work. Five years later, the term “telecommuting” made its debut when an oil crisis made the usual commuting habits expensive and exhausting. It took time for the computers I worked on to shrink from an entire building to an entire floor and then to a nonprofit in an office building. In the 1980s, my small office installed a computer network and, can you believe it, made me the IT guy. Rebooting meant taking apart a hard drive and cleaning it with a number 2 pencil eraser. Muttering to my now deceased mother, I followed the directions by phone, a landline in those days, from a computer expert who actually knew what he was doing. …
Environmental activism in my DNA
When I considered doing an article on the iconic Greenpeace movement which started much of our environmental activism, I thought it would be an intellectual and historical project. But, my 92-year old Aunt Polly informed that my Green-ness runs in the family, that Greenpeace is just a cousin away and that includes one of the movement’s matriarchs.
Aunt Polly launched into an explanation of the family ties through her husband, my Uncle Erwin Strasmich. Uncle Erwin’s cousin, Irving Strasmich, was one of the founding members of Greenpeace. Aunt Polly described moving to Providence, Rhode Island, decades ago when she married Erwin. Irving Strasmich, a Yale-educated lawyer, was already an activist, well known in the city. Everyone knew Irving from government officials down to the janitors. There was a frequent confusing of Erwin and Irving. …
There is much beauty to celebrate in Native American art, but that it’s a struggle to create given the devastating historical events surrounding Native Americans. The Cherokee Nation had a culture that thrived for almost 1,000 years in the Southeastern United States: in Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, and parts of Kentucky and Alabama. Life of the traditional Cherokee changed drastically with European expansion and cession of Cherokee lands to the colonies in exchange for trade goods. Migration from the original Cherokee Nation began in the early 1800s as Cherokees wary of white encroachment moved west and settled in other areas of the country’s vast frontier. …
A new American gives thanks
We came to America without a clue
When November rolled around and Thanksgiving, too
Stories of pilgrims sailing in hope
The Mayflower and Plymouth Rock — Who knew!
They fled from the British
but wasn’t that us?
Just listen to this little girl’s
vocab of therefore and thus
I’d never seen a turkey, no drumstick or wing
Never saw a pumpkin or eaten a pie
My eyes got bigger and my ears perked up
I knew the tune I heard them sing
My country tis of thee
Sweet land of liberty
but the words were all wrong
cause it’s an English…
(Note: Ginsberg’s replacement will take shortly, but the message of this article remains relevant.)
The announcement of the passing of Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg came during the online services celebrating the Jewish New Year. I could see an old friend on Zoom just put her head in her hands and stay there. I’d seen the announcement a few minutes before services started at sunset so I’d had a brief moment to digest the news. I immediately texted my cousin. We both identify with the description of Ginsberg as “Elder Badass”, having fought our own life-long battles for women. She texted back, “Nooooo!”. …
As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of men granting women the right to vote, we should remember that it took two or three generations from the first women’s rights conference in 1848 until that right was granted. Women protested, picketed, and were imprisoned around the US.
The disdain for these protesters was strong and anti-Suffragist protests were loud even in Nashville. Sound familiar? Not surprisingly, when the 19th amendment passed in Tennessee, it did so just barely, and was then contested. …
QAnon has gone mainstream. This fringe group’s theory that there’s a deep state dedicated to child trafficking, cannibalism, and anti-Trumpism is no longer under the radar. Some point to the successful Georgia primary of QAnon backer, Marjorie Greene, as proof. Others point to President Trump congratulating her and calling her a “Future Republican Star”.While Vice President Pence tried to counteract Trump’s enthusiasm for QAnon, the fact that QAnon ended up on the front page of The Chattanooga Times Free Press tends to support the mainstream theory.
My favorite clue to QAnon’s going mainstream was Bill Maher’s satirical unveiling of the true identity of the shadowy figure behind it all on his comedy show, Real Time. “It makes perfect sense that I — libertine, atheist, pot-smoking Trump-hating Bill Maher — am Q. In reality, “Q” lurks in dark internet corners and posts how President Trump was recruited by the military to break up a Satanic “deep state” pedophile cabal linked to Hollywood, the media and Democrats. The cabal molests children, kills and eats them, extracting life-extending chemicals from their blood. …
It’s a true challenge to talk about issues involving African Americans and Jews in these turbulent times. The murder of George Floyd and COVID-19 have put a spotlight not just on monuments and law enforcement, but also on festering issues of economic, social and healthcare inequities. The issues echo the 1960s civil rights era but with the internet, terminology, quotes, memes and comments are constantly morphing. And spreading. Two weeks ago, a Black-Jewish woman messaged me, worried about how the words of Louis Farrakhan were being blending with those of local White Supremacists. (See Farrakhan) Will the words of our nonviolent sixties icons, James Baldwin and Martin Luther King Jr., successfully counteract this trend? I hope that celebrating the life of the civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis will re-emphasize the impact of non-violent activism. …