We are in Paris at the Westin.  A company I will call XYZ Company is here too. I thought it noteworthy enough to comment here on something that I have noticed about the attendees.  There are probably 3-5 hundred representatives or employees of the company here and ALL of them are tall, muscular males.  Gladiators!!!  Interesting …  they fight the management fight. I found a word on their website that describes one of their services that I had never heard before –  “wargaming”.  I understand it to be part of the simulation activities.  hmmmm.

Sooo, I think what they do is create advantages for companies in competitive markets.  The problem is that more and more we need to be collaborative markets where everyone ones if the game is to continue.

I am troubled by the gladiator image and approach.  I think that I may have some ideas from my work that would add value to the management strategies that they have in place but I am not sure they will see it that way.  Given the criteria I saw on their webiste, I am guessing that both gain thinking is not necessarily part of what they do.

Is business still war???  Are we still in deficit thinking mode???

Working together is a simple idea with alot of power in it.  There are ways to have your needs AND my needs met.  There are always ways to identify unique and common criteria for a future together and create a sustainable plan of action. A company needs to reflect the diversity of their clients.  The scary thing is that I believe that XYZ Company does….  CEO’s – the kind that have been raking in bonuses on the backs of little people – also look like gladiators.

I could be dead wrong about XYZ Company.  They are obviously successful. The only hint of a crack in the armour was in the elevators where people were less guarded and seemed genuinely concerned with what was going on at the meetings, with the company and with their clients.  Still hyped on success brings success, they were showing a brave face to each other but the body language when the elevator doors closed was different.

Gladiators, keeping their sponsors happy, going for the kill.

Where are the peace makers???  Where is the diversity in the world of business and in the world of consulting?

You can’t leave the peacemaking to the non-profits.  They can only do so much.  “Love Difference”  for example is working to unit organizations around the Mediterranean.  It promotes intercultural dialogue but the true power of intercultural dialogue is in the business opportunities that are created.

The success stories we do not hear enough about are there.  Volkswagen has built a plant to assemble cars in the middle east on the border between Israel and Jordan.  Workers from both regions work side by side.  When the livelihood of the warring parties is earned collaboratively then a real difference can be seen.  Business has a vital role to play and a very large hammer, economic advantage, to play it with.