Why invest in Talent Management?

Talent management entails attracting, developing, recruiting, and tenaretaining qualified employees in their pivotal roles. Also, talent management helps in recognizing an individual who excels in certain activities and performances upon which, they are supported to go beyond the limit whereas their colleagues are encouraged to emulate what they are doing differently (Hiller et al., 2017). Nonetheless, organizations that have a human resource team that focuses on good talent management has an increased competitive advantage. Since talent management helps in recruiting the right person to perform a specific task, retaining such top talent, recruiting qualified individuals, understanding the workforce, is key in implementing certified development decisions.

Through proper ascertaining of a person’s skills, strengths, and decisions, there is a good chance of hiring the right person for the specified job. An organization can use various methods and techniques in selecting the right person (Cobb, 2017; Noe et al., 2006). Such as developing a stock of skill inventories for each position in the organization. Therefore, during interviews, the panel can easily map out the required skills for a particular job. The act is important for a given perspective of the individual and the organization since the right person is hired for the right position; thus, rendering increased employee productivity.

Despite the changing of economic status globally, the main concern of most organization is attrition. Therefore, retaining top talent is rendered significant to growth and leadership in the marketplace. Since failure to retaining top talents in an organization is likely to give the competitors an upper hand. Consequently, organizations are now focusing on recruiting, developing, retaining, and engaging quality people by charting strategies and programs for employee’s retention (MS Experts, 2017). The strategies and programs include taking care of employee’s growth in career and ensuring the performance of succession planning whereas rewarding those who are performing well.

An organization is given appraisals by the quality of the employees it possesses. Hiring has proven to be a challenge for many organizations. This is because some organizations conduct interviews that terrifying. They ask questions that are partly inquisitional or partly interrogative while others let the interviewees wait for long or ask preposterous questions that throw them off guard (Lawler, 2010; Cobb, 2017). A smart organization knows how to get the best employees; thus, they ensure they undertake interviews that seek talent that will best fit in their values and goals. It is not surprising that in the human resource processes talent management programs, training, and hiring assessment has become an important aspect.

Understanding one’s employees is a great motivation tool for them to deliver and give their best performance. Managers need to know what makes their team members happy and avoid ignoring the employees since they can feel unmotivated. Managers should also appreciate their employees and let them feel special. Failure to this makes employees feel demoralized and they work for the salary and view work as a burden. Accordingly, the management team should get the deep insights of employees by undertaking continuous employee assessment (Lewis & Heckman, 2006). The assessments helps in knowing employees’ developmental needs, weaknesses and strengths, abilities, career aspirations, likes and dislikes that helps to determine what motivates an employee; hence, yielding high work productivity.

An organization can easily invest on improving professional developmental decision if it understands it’s potential. Hence, talent management can make this easier for any organization since development involves investing towards training, learning, and development for an individual either for personal growth, performance management, or succession planning (Collings & Mellahi, 2009). In addition, if employees are positive in the organization talent management practices, there is a high chance for them to develop confidence in the future of the organization. Thus, leading to a workforce that is more committed and determined in engaging to practices that outperform their competitors is essential for any organization to achieve its objectives.

Finally, in the contemporary world, organizations and companies have to make an informed decision in the workplace due to the rapidly increasing global market. Thereby, it is critical to have the right professional in the right work position since organizational success and shareholder value is parallel to the attraction and retaining of the best quality talent. The key to profitability and productivity of organizations is not only having people, but having the right people in the right place. Thus, if organizations can make efforts in designing and balancing their work they have a high chance of making sound and more informed decisions that ensure top talents are positioned in vital roles that produce positive effects to organizational strategies and success.

 

 

References:

Cobb, A. (2017). Using Talent Management to Drive Competitive Advantage, by Adam Cobb. Hotelexecutive.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://hotelexecutive.com/business_review/2735/using-talent-management-to-drive-competitive-advantage

Collings, D. G., & Mellahi, K. (2009). Strategic talent management: A review and research agenda. Human resource management review, 19(4), 304-313.

Hiller, R. (2017). Gaining Competitive Advantage by Using Talent Management – Capterra Blog. Blog.capterra.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://blog.capterra.com/gaining-competitive-advantage-using-talent-management/

Khurshid, R. & Darzi, M. (2017). Managing talent for competitive advantage. International Journal of Applied Research, 2(2), 569-571.

Lawler III, E. E. (2010). Talent: Making people your competitive advantage. John Wiley & Sons.

Lewis, R. E., & Heckman, R. J. (2006). Talent management: A critical review. Human resource management review, 16(2), 139-154.

MSGExperts, (2017). Benefits of Talent Management. Managementstudyguide.com. Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://www.managementstudyguide.com/benefits-of-talent-management.html

Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2006). Human resource management: Gaining a competitive advantage.

Schichtle, N. (2017). Retrieved 12 February 2017, from http://www.kellyocg.com/uploadedFiles/7-KellyOCG/2-Knowledge/Talent-management/The-impact-of-talent.pdf

 

 

 

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Humanistic Leadership and Business Performance

 

Humanistic LeadershipHumanistic leadership style is a sense of application of values and humane tendencies in the application of leadership in organization or a business setting. It focuses on the personal development and growth of an individual by constitution the various ethics that help create a conducive work environment for workers ( Kahai, Sosik & Avolio, 2003). It also outlines the responsibilities that individual workers are meant to share in by spreading them in a fair manner leading to cohesion in the workplace. Humanism focuses mainly on morality and the establishment of a precedent to do things correctly leading to a drastic improvement in the quantity and quality of work done in industry.

Humanism has a major impact on efficient and effective communication in business. Its aspect of in a business sense leads to the likeability of the individual and thus creates a dynamic that allows efficient leadership. It also increases ones perception of integrity leading to people listening to the information that is given out by the person. This then means that a credible person creates a much larger space for people to be effective in their jobs and other activities. This aspect also creates trust in the leadership as they are portrayed as trustworthy figures. This is an important aspect as it consolidates the staff into following directives in the company without the creation of strikes or riots in the workplace (Xenikou & Saimosi, 2006).

Humanism also creates a facet for the increase of competence levels in a work environment. This sis enhanced by the effective communication methods that a credible employer may use in the critique of a junior worker under them. If criticism is given towards a person in a more thoughtful way, there is evidence of improving levels of output as well as the prevention of common mistakes that occur in the manufacture of products. This drastically reduces the levels of losses as a collective as each employee functions at an optimum rate.

Humanistic leadership also creates the success of change in the company by incorporating the aspects of employee welfare. A major barrier to effective employee employer relations is the lack of the observance of the welfare of the employee in the business aspect of a company. This mostly stems from the habit of making a profit that is mostly the end goal of all businesses. To encounter this, the Humanistic Leadership Style employs the use of employee welfare. They are encouraged to join unions that create an environment for the caring of their rights. Also introduced are pension programs and healthcare insurance services to further care for their needs. This practice helps create a happy workforce that maximizes its optimum functions (Goleman, Boyatsiz & Mckee, 2002).

Lastly is the outlining of the structure of the company. Humanistic leadership helps facilitate for a smoother transition in the company aesthetic through the adoption of various techniques that facilitate the growth of the employer –employee relationship. This is done through team building exercises that help develop the relationship between the management and their staff. This effort helps in the strengthening of the relationship between the two helping improve the relations and creating familiarity. This approach means that the staff views their leadership as peers and is not afraid to interact with them leading to the integration of both sides. A better relationship leads to better office results and thus profitability in the company.

 

Reference

Goleman, D., Boyatzis, R. E., & McKee, A. (2002). The new leaders: Transforming the art of leadership into the science of results (p. 14). London: Little, Brown.

Kahai, S. S., Sosik, J. J., & Avolio, B. J. (2003). Effects of leadership style, anonymity, and rewards on creativity-relevant processes and outcomes in an electronic meeting system context. The Leadership Quarterly, 14(4), 499-524.

Xenikou, A., & Simosi, M. (2006). Organizational culture and transformational leadership as predictors of business unit performance. Journal of managerial psychology, 21(6), 566-579.

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Passion at Work and Performance of Senior Managers

blog-logo-940-198Several existing studies have indicated that nurturing the personalities of worker passion in their workforce, companies can make unremitting performance improvements and develop the resilient they require to endure unremitting market challenges and disruptions. According to Hagel et al. (2014), more than 88% of American workforce are unable to contribute to their full potential since they do not have passion of their work. Very few Americans in the workforce, around 12.3% have been found to possess the attributes of worker passion. Passionate workers are really committed to consistently attaining higher levels of performance. In contemporary ever changing business environment, organizations are looking for passionate workers, ranging from junior to senior employees because such employees are driving thrilling and constant performance gains. This paper discusses how passion of work is related with performance of senior managers.

Vallerand and Houlfort (2003) defined passion “as a sturdy feeling toward an activity that individuals like, that they find significant, and in which they capitalize energy and time” (p. 175). Vallerand et al. (2007) note that “passion signifies the energy essential . . . determined participation” (p. 506). Nevertheless, Vallerand and Houlfort (2003) suggest a dualistic model of passion: “harmonious passion” and “obsessive passion.” Their study envisages that while both forms of passion might end in sophisticated levels of worker engagement, “harmonious passion endorses healthy adaptation while obsessive passion prevents it by triggering undesirable distress and unbending doggedness” (p. 175). On the other hand, a factorial analysis of employee passion by Zigarmi et al. (2009) found several factors related with work passion and managers performance. This include connectedness with colleagues, fairness, growth, meaningful work, and autonomy.

Passionate senior managers improve organization performance because they are able to respond effectively and cautiously to challenges. Their passion relates to “how they develop skills, learn, and establish their careers over the long-term? How they interact with others to pursue goals? How they solve problems?” Managers help the organizations and themselves to develop the competences needed to continually learn and increase performance. Passionate managers deliver continuous and noteworthy performance improvement over time instead of a one-time performance pump. According to Ayers and Cahill (2012), a passionate manager as well as passionate employee is always focused, committed, and engaged to continuously perform to and deliver their best. This person feels robustly about the work he is conducting, as he knows he is creating value. This same person has a strong emotional connection with the firm he operates for –he feels a sense of commitment and pride towards the company. As a consequence, that manager or person is able to deliver exceptional value to his client, both inside and outside the organization.

Hence, in conclusion, in modern global business environment, frequently improving performance is essential characterized by continuous change, and increasing performance pressure where organizations have to take on novel roles, establish new competences, and vitally move their affiliations with clients and partners. In such environment, passion about the work someone is doing is very essential, as it is the only asset that has the latent to unceasingly appreciate. Organizations require lithe employees who challenge the status quo, learn from market trends and forces, and track better-quality performance. These employees are irrepressible. The pressure of rapidly changing business world do not smash them as they view encounters as opportunities to develop and learn; getting stronger from such opportunities.

 

References

Ayers, K.,& Cahill, F. (2012). Bridging the employee passion deficit. Integro Leadership Institute. Retrieved from http://www.integroleadership.com/Docs/Bridging_Employee_Passion_Deficit.pdf

Hagel, J., Brown, J. S., Ranjan, A & Byler, D (2014). Cultivating worker passion as a cornerstone of talent development. Retrieved from https://dupress.deloitte.com/dup-us-en/topics/talent/worker-passion-employee-behavior.html

Vallerand, R. J., &Houlfort, N. (2003). Passion at work: Toward a new conceptualization. In S. W. Gilliland, D. D. Steiner & D. P. Skarlicki (Eds.), Emerging perspectives on values in organizations (pp. 175-204). Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing.

Vallerand, R. J., Salvey, S., Mageau, G. A., Elliot, A. J., Denis, P. L. Grouzet, F. M. E., & Blanchard, C. (2007). On the role of passion in performance. Journal of Personality, 75(3), 505-533. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-6494.2007.00447.x

Zigarmi, D., Houson, D., & Witt, D. (2009). Employee passion. Perspectives, 1. Retrieved from http://www.kenblanchard.com/Leading-Research/Research/Employee-Passion-the-New-Rules-ofEngagement

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Post Millennial Talent: A competitive advantage imperative

postmillenialsPost millennials , the generation born years after 1995, is rapidly growing. As Kisor et.al, (2017) describe, the generation is taking the labour force by storm. Various companies are looking into tapping the talent of this generation, with the hope of getting an edge in their business competitiveness (Berkup, 2014). However, some companies are facing difficulty attracting and retaining this talent. According to Al Ariss et al. (2014), these companies can hardly adapt to match their demands and needs. While this generation floods the labor market, the human resource department should learn about the best ways of attracting and retaining them. Some of these ways include flexible schedules, initial steady incomes, a sense of purpose, growth opportunity, creativity, being valued, transparency, social responsibility and presence of technology (Aruna & Anitha, 2015).

According to Rasmussen (2015), when looking for a job, generation Z is concerned about flexible and individualized schedules, hence personal freedom. Leading companies such as Google are good examples of how individualized working hours improve productivity as well as the employee’s attitude. Majority of these young people hate work consuming the bigger part of their lives. They feel empowered and liberated if allowed to organize their working hours.

Post millennial does not work for the paycheck only. They derive a sense of purpose from their jobs (Rezaee, 2015). This purpose could result from fulfillment of individual passion and knowing that they make a possible impact on the surrounding. Companies should aim at nurturing a sense of purpose at work (Wagner III & Hollenbeck, 2014).

Treating young employees like robots is highly discouraging. The last thing they have to feel is disposable and interchangeable. Instead, they want to be recognized as valued employees. Companies could maximize on this by studying potential employees and formulating strategies that incorporate their personal preferences (Sharer et.al, 2016). Furthermore, according to Hodor (2014), the generation Z should be complemented and rewarded for their performance and accomplishment.

Creativity defines this generation. According to Stewart et.al, (2017), most young adults take up opportunities that allow them to apply their innovation and imagination. Companies harness these energies by allowing them to suggest ideas and apply unique talents at work (Johnson & Houston, 2016). The young adults get mind stimulation, while companies benefit from various innovations (Nosh et.al, 2015). For this generation which is conversant with displaying personal lives on the social platform, honesty is a significant virtue (Kick et.al, 2015) Companies which have numerous bureaucracies are considered undesirable and deceitful. They should be open and upfront and open in corporate decisions.

Technology and social responsibility are an integral part of this generation’s life. They have been born and raised during the boom of technology (Kucherov & Zamulin, 2016). They also expect companies to be socially responsible and not only show concern for profits. They actually appreciate that a company has a moral backbone.The post millennial have different aspirations. Unlike the millennial who aspire financial stability, the post millennial aspire to have their dream jobs (Olafsen et.al, 2015). Well, according to Cunningham (2016), the post millennial negatively affect companies; they keep hoping from one company to another one which offers better opportunities. Companies have to withstand training new entrants every now and then. However, they acquire more benefits.

Companies with more post millennial enjoy high rates of innovation (Morgan, 2014). They are versatile. They also love being given opportunities to express themselves in their work (Gallardo-Gallardo, et.al, 2013). The post millennial are driven by purpose, aspirations and career focus. According to Mora-Soto et.al, (2016), companies enjoy increased productivity and since the young adults step out of the comfort zone and network with many professions, their learning is applied in taking the company a notch higher.

Without any doubt, post millennial have great aspirations. They aspire to climb the ladder. By appealing to the generation’s aspiration to learn and accessing opportunities for growth and career development, companies will be successful in attracting and retaining the post millennial talent. Furthermore, the companies will largely benefit from the post millennial unique and creative talent.

 

 

 
References

Al Ariss, A., Cascio, W. F., & Paauwe, J. (2014). Talent management: Current theories and future research directions. Journal of World Business49(2), 173-179.

Aruna, M., & Anitha, J. (2015). Employee retention enablers: Generation Y employees. SCMS Journal of Indian Management12(3), 94.

Berkup, S. B. (2014). Working with Generations X and Y in Generation Z period: management of different generations in business life. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences5(19), 218

Cunningham, A. (2016). Are There Differences In Long-Term Commitment between the Different Generations in the Workforce?

Gallardo-Gallardo, E., Dries, N., & González-Cruz, T. F. (2013). What is the meaning of ‘talent’in the world of work?. Human Resource Management Review23(4), 290-300.

Hodor, E. S. (2014). Total Rewards Model In Romanian Companies. SEA–Practical Application of Science, (03), 232-238.

Johnson, L., & Houston, C. (2016). CREATING THE ENTREPRENEURIAL MINDSET IN POST-MILLENIAL STUDENTS USING INTERACTIVE TECHNIQUES TO SUPPLEMENT PRACTICAL METHODS.

Kick, A. L., Contacos-Sawyer, J., & Thomas, B. (2015, July). How Generation Z’s Reliance on Digital Communication Can Affect Future Workplace Relationships. In Competition Forum (Vol. 13, No. 2, p. 214). American Society for Competitiveness

Kisor, Z., Hoge, S., Cosher, A., Gump, B., Carson, D., & Mitchell, K. (2017). Millennials on the Move, but to Where?.

Kucherov, D., & Zamulin, A. (2016). Employer branding practices for young talents in IT companies (Russian experience). Human Resource Development International19(2), 178-188.

Mora-Soto, A., Lemus-Olalde, C., & Carballo, C. A. (2016, October). Improving Competitiveness Aligning Knowledge and Talent Management with Strategic Goals. In International Conference on Software Process Improvement (pp. 155-166). Springer International Publishing.

Morgan, J. (2014). The future of work: Attract new talent, build better leaders, and create a competitive organization. John Wiley & Sons.

Nosh Abadi, M. F., Khadem, S. M., & Sadeghnia, A. (2015). Talent Management and Maintaining Talented Human Resource: A Case Study in Kashan University of Medical Sciences. European Online Journal of Natural and Social Sciences: Proceedings2(3 (s)), pp-3446.

Olafsen, A. H., Halvari, H., Forest, J., & Deci, E. L. (2015). Show them the money? The role of pay, managerial need support, and justice in a self‐determination theory model of intrinsic work motivation. Scandinavian journal of psychology56(4), 447-457

Rasmussen, C. (2015). Leveraging Generational Differences in the Workplace.

Rezaee, Z. (2015). Business Sustainability: Performance, Compliance, Accountability and Integrated Reporting. Greenleaf Publishing.

Sharer, E., Jones, C. J., Morris, A., Harpel, A., Miesle, A., & Dixon, J. (2016). Recruiting and Maintaining Millennial Talent for The JM Smucker Company.

Stewart, J. S., Oliver, E. G., Cravens, K. S., & Oishi, S. (2017). Managing millennials: Embracing generational differences. Business Horizons60(1), 45-54.

Tulgan, B. (2013). Meet Generation Z: The second generation within the giant” Millennial” cohort. Rainmaker Thinking Inc.

Wagner III, J. A., & Hollenbeck, J. R. (2014). Organizational behavior: Securing competitive advantage. Routledge.

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What is success? In response to Stewart Friedman

exitoThrough a social network, good friend of mine (a young lawyer with a meteoric projection) shared the thesis of Stewart Friedman, a recognised professor of the Wharton School of Business, on what constitutes success.

The professor Friedman believes that success consists on the harmonization of life regarding four variables: Work, family, social environment and oneself. There are occasions on which professionals achieve an outstanding professional development, but a failure in personal and familiar life; and on the contrary, professionals that obtain a significant personal and familiar development but a poor professional development. Fundamentally, harmonization consists on being a good juggler; success consist on maintaining the “four balls” at the same time in the air without letting them fall off.

The reader might be surprised, but I am radically against Professor Friedman’s Thesis. Not against it from the self-perspective point of view, in that case I am fully in agreement; success, in my individual case, is the harmonization of the four variables. Nonetheless, I consider that a personal view is not a general perspective applicable to individuals. For example, there are women and men that find the happiness in the professional area and they give top priority to it; they do not understand a full life, without an exponential projection. On the other hand, there are people who leave their jobs so as to have more time to be in family. In these mentioned both cases, there is no harmony since the first one, according to Friedman’s theory, there is a failure in the family background and in the second one, a poor professional career.

Thus, success does not depend on four variables (family, work, social environment and oneself) but rather depends on just one; being happy. For that, the first task that we should set is increasing our self-awareness, and on this basis, take decisions.

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Diversity and the power of nations

LONDONTough times are coming for the old continent. Populist and nationalist movements, together with the economic situation, the corruption and the migratory crisis will put us to the text in at least a decade. Therefore, developed countries and cultures rooted in a common good have to demonstrate their maturity in the decision-making process.

The victory of Sadiq Khan at the London Mayor, born in London, Muslim and son of an English bus driver of Pakistani origin, has not only been a victory for a self-made man, but it has also sent out the message for Europe and for the world, that one of the most thriving and developed cities in the world is saying yes to integration, yes to diversity, yes to multiculturalism and yes to the differential factor that gives value to a society that invests in the future. Similarly, it says no to separatism, no to nationalism and no to a traditionalist and conservative culture.

Just like in London, all the remaining European countries will have to face decision making processes about who we want our leaders to be, and hence, in which direction we intend to go. And so it will be our case in the 26J elections. Without intending to push the reader to one direction or the other, I consider that it is important to think about the vote and be courageous, trying to go beyond sentences such as “I have always voted for the same party” or “I don’t want to do experiments”. Maybe these questions can help them out:

  • Do I want a country governed by leaders, whose political party is immersed in cases of corruption?
  • Do I support a ruling class that has never worked in the private industry at any point of its professional career?
  • Do I feel myself to be represented by “friends” from regimes that under the principle of equality have impoverished their citizens?
  • Do I want to support innovation, transparency and reduction of public spending as key factors of the future development of our country?

 

 

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To the leaders of the future

everestAllow me to confess that I have a tendency to avoid and shy away from authors of “airport books” who usually give important personal and professional advices to achieve “success” in life. I tend to shun them since I consider that each individual’s life is extremely different and has unique features that make it difficult for anyone to give an entire population huge advices.

Despite my mistrust on these kinds of “general recipes”, a few days ago, so as to have a little break from latest headlines on Panama papers (Minister Soria included), imputation of political leaders, Ada Coulau’s handpicked political posts in the Barcelona City Council or Pedro Sanchez’s changes to govern at all costs (the history will call him “the vale”), I started to read a conference given by Mr. Jack Ma, founder and chief executive of Alibaba Corporation. His intervention is one of the best stuff I have read in the past years about recommendations and tips for the youth, who will be our best leaders of the future.

First: “Before the age of 20, be a good student and work to gain valuable work experience”

Second: “Before the age of 30, follow someone whom you admire and work for a small company; a big company will teach you about procedures, but a small one will transmit you the passion, the dreams and the eagerness for a business project. Before one turns 30, it is not the company you work at, it is the boss you follow. A good boss who will teach you to work differently”

Third: “From 30 to 40 years old, you have to understand that you work for yourself”

Fourth: “Between the ages of 40 and 50 you need to focus and devote your time to work on the things that you are good at”

Fifth: “From 50 to 60, teach the new generations, convey them what you have learned, and work for them, because young people will work better than you”

Sixth: “When you turn 60, spend time for yourself, go to the beach and enjoy life”

By the way, it would have been great that the political class of traditional parties, had been at least, good students and that they had worked more to gain work experience…

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Humanism, Freedom and Democracy

Liberalismo

Recently, I feel convinced that readers will agree with me, we keep hearing and reading that the fact that there are neighbours and districts with unintegrated people from different religions and cultures among Europeans is our responsibility, because “we have acted in the wrong way”.

Whilst it is true that we need to correct and learn from past mistakes, since regarding aid, it is never enough, we must emphasize that Europe and specifically, the countries conforming the European Union cannot fail in integrating those who seek a better life. We cannot fail because the pillars, the fundaments and the fundamental purpose behind our more basic institutions lies on embracing the differential fact so as to create a number of codes and guidelines that allow us to move on towards a common benefit. Each one of us, as Europeans, certainly has to take the lead and set an example to the world of how an integration and a solidarity project is created.

In addition, Europe is based on the principles of humanistic values. Without humanism, neither the past, nor the present and the future can be explained. Thus, it is precisely this value, together with freedom and democracy, the values that make other cultures, or if you prefer, branches of some religions, not to be integrated in a society based on unity and mutual respect. In Europe, neither cultural relativism nor legal relativism can be presented, since what makes us be united is the right to uphold basic common rights, above one’s beliefs and cultures.

Humanism, as well as democracy and freedom, are the strongest arguments that explain the lack of integration of a minority of people that do not share that the union among those who are different and that the respect for the individual are the raison d’être not only of our culture but also of our welfare state. Long live Europe!

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United States of Europe: Embrace people and values

Churchil

Some months ago in an In-Company training session, one of our professors, who has a long and successful career as an international senior executive behind him, asked the participants which the “mission “of their organizations was. The main idea behind the exercise was to expound that in order to carry out the respective responsibilities for each day, it is not only important to set clear objectives, but also to internalise the mission, the raison d’être of the project on which we embark every day.

Given this present parallelism that answers to the question of why we are here, it is a good time to remember the pioneers of the European Union. It is high time to keep Konrad Adenauer, Joseph Bech, Winston Churchill, Sicco Mansholt, Jean Monnet, Robert Schuman in mind and go back to the main purpose of the European Union, to the reasons why a group of individuals, considered progressive for its time, agreed on, worked on and fought for what is without any doubt, the most relevant supranational project of all times. These people, worked on a common project in order to achieve among other aspects the following:

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. Moreover, the societies of the Member States are characterised by pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men.

If we read again the previous text and specifically put into the context “values of respect for human dignity” it is unavoidable to ask ourselves the following questions: Which values and which human dignity do we have with an accordance that allow the expulsion of people “refugees” that have come to our countries? Where is the raison d’être of our community project? Which examples are we setting for our children? Which is our “new mission”?

We need to build bridges, not to create barriers; we need to “embrace” people, not reject them; we need to show the world and ourselves that Europe, the Europeans, are a reference model, not only an economic model, but also political, social and cultural one. For that, we need to give less press conferences and instead lead by example.

 

 

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Europe needs humanism

A detailed view of the earth from space with night lights --- Image by © Matthias Kulka/Corbis

A detailed view of the earth from space with night lights — Image by © Matthias Kulka/Corbis

A few weeks ago a good childhood friend, currently a top manager who quitted her professional career in a large international firm in order to work as a sustainability consultant and in the microfinance sector in Barcelona, told me that she was temporarily going to leave her responsibilities behind to volunteer for a period of time in one of the closest Greek islands to Syria. Her aim now is to help the growing number of refugees that every day, even if it is not presented in the media, arrive to the old continent.

During the conversation, she asked me about my personal view both on the refugee crisis and the Syrian conflict. It was with some concern that I replied that, beyond the strong support and help that I consider that must be given to refugees, because they are human beings and therefore they deserve to hold fundamental rights inherent to the human condition, I was not able to give a constructive thought, since I do not know the situation well enough to bring practical solutions. We concluded that one clue to this issue, not only regarding the case of Syria, but also regarding remaining international conflicts, is the enormous lack of information on the facts, actors and the interests that have led to this situation.

Together with this basic idea of misinformation and looking at today’s society, a step forward can be made and conclude that the problem is not so much the lack of information on the part of the media, but the problem is us, each one of us. Advanced societies, developed and in a well-faire state, have got lost somewhere along the way and have failed to understand that there are people, who are exactly like us, but just with their clothes on their back, with memories of what a complicated life was and eager to have a second chance to start a new life. Perhaps it is time to internalize that our duty must look beyond percentages, figures, trade balances and realize that they are just ordinary people, like you and I, and hence, as a society we will never be able to forgive ourselves for not helping them when they were asking for help. There is no way out without humanism.

 

 

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