The month of July marks major landmarks for SIETAR USA as we enter the second part of the year. Our vision 2020, SIETAR USA 5 Year Plan, has shown great progress.
First part of the year goals met: New website, new social media engagement, new ethics committee, new mentoring program, new conference committee and awesome conference on the way, 2017 conference venue site selection and more.
What is next: YOU! Yes you, members (or future member). Your voice is crucial to our society.
We want you to be one of the first 20 registered conference attendees by 7/31/2016for a spot on Conference VIP list. Once you've registered, just send a confirmation email to firstname.lastname@example.org
We want to hear from you on our blogs, Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook. Use #SUSA2016, @sietarusa.
Want to get more involved? We want you!
We need volunteers with communication, technology, membership engagement.
Want to make an even bigger difference? Watch out for our call for board nomination for the following positions on the Board of Directors. New terms are starting 01/01/2017. Great perks and personal and professional development.
You can nominate yourself or someone you feel can and will make a difference in SIETAR USA.
Please note: mentoring, communication, ethics committee 1 year position available/appointed by board and or/president.
We're pleased to announce that we are now accepting registrations for the 16th Annual Conference. The speakers are selected, the workshops set and the hotel is ready! All we need is you! Click here to get started now!
The following piece was written as an original post for the July 2016 edition of Blah, Blah Blog, an EngagedBetween.com series. It is shared with pleasure for publication in the July 2016 SIETAR USA newsletter. Though a critique of mainstream U.S. American work culture as reflected in pop music, “Work as Religion” explores opportunity for deepening our work with client-partners by encouraging a shift in how people practice work.
Over a pitcher of Sangria this past Thursday evening—with my own glass full of water for reason of my religion—one friend in the group that met at Café Iberico smiled knowingly as she told me that I have no concerns about job security as a global and local diversity professional. Nanye. Ninguna. Neniu. Though I wasn’t born an interculturalist, I converted long ago and I’ll die a devoted follower of my religion: Work.
I am not the only one in these so-called post-God, post-history, post-racist United States who has made a religion of my work. We’re generally a busy people who barter our health, time and true talent for a job. And perhaps, like other believers, I hold true to the promise that sacrifice now will be rewarded later. Though in the “hereafter” of my religion, the hearts of humankind are knit together.
Idolizing Work As Next-To-Holy—and Hyper-Sexualized
Even as it consumes us, we increasingly sacrifice ourselves for work. Like many other virtues to which people profess devotion and exploit, the so-called Puritanical work ethic of the 1800’s U.S. that influences our work culture has become simultaneously next-to-holy and hyper-sexualized in contemporary society. Witness this fascinating mix in the following “clean” versions of today’s popular music that are an ode to work.
“Work” by singing artists Rihanna and Drake climbed to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 list in Feb. 2016. It’s meaning—beyond the obvious—remains elusive to many despite the title of the song being repeated 79 times within its lyrics.
“Work From Home” released in the same month by Fifth Harmony, fittingly features a music hook by a man with the stage name, Ty Dolla $ign. Suggestively, the lyrics read, “We can work from home…/ ’Cause baby, you’re the boss at home”.
“Stressed Out” (2015) by twenty one pilots offers a commentary on work culture in the refrain, “Wake up, you need to make money”.
In Iggy Azelea’s “Work” (2014) she essentially tells her story of “rags to riches” which is reminiscent of the lifestyle portrayed in (the explicit version of) Brittney Spear’s “Work B****” (2013) music video. The video features Brittney using a black, leather whip on members of her crew as they “live fancy” with Lamborghinis, martinis and parties in France—all the while enslaved to the need for their lavish lifestyle.
In about the span of my lifetime, the ritual of work has gone from sacrilege to sacred. Some examples include the following pop-culture songs of the late 1970s and 1980s.
“9 to 5” (1980) by Dolly Parton offered a socio-economic and feminist critique of work: “It’s a rich man’s game/ No matter what they call it/ And you spend your life/ Puttin’ money in his wallet”.
In “Morning Train (Nine to Five)” (1981), poor Sheena Easton lost time with her lover every workday. The lyrics read, “My baby takes the morning train/ He works from nine to five and then/ He takes another home again/ To find me waitin’ for him”.
“She Works Hard For the Money” (1983) by Donna Summers tells the story of a waitress named Onetta who will “…[N]ever sell out/ She never will/ Not for a dollar bill.” So, you “better treat her right”!
Written by Prince and sung by The Bangles, “Manic Monday” (1986) protests the turn of the clock to the start of the workweek that interrupts lovemaking Sunday “fun days”. Here, work is a turn off—and not a fetishized turn-on.
Just about an equal number of years after the 21st century began as before it ended, our interpretation of the value of work—as reflected in the select sample above—has changed. No longer are we simply the object and work the subject. Work has become the protagonist that drives the plot of our lives, the “hero” of our story.
How to Make Religion of Work
If we’re going to make a religion of work, let’s make the maximum profit. Our professional accountabilities are often to discover efficiencies, assure quality, check and balance toward the “holy grail” of the bottom line. However, we are not reaching our best benefit because we’re missing the meaning of our martyrdom.
What necessarily defines work as a value is the act of creating; the “exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something”. Just as some believe that faith is “the evidence of things not seen,” the profit produced by creating through work is not always tangible, but no less real. When we make a true religion of work, we recognize that the profit gained through work is in the process of craft for the benefit of ourselves and others—not in the product itself. In his classic work, The Prophet, by Lebanese writer-poet Khalil Gibran, he preaches work as worship: “…[I]n keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life/ And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret. And what is it to work with love? It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth. Work is love made visible.” Work is of most value when practiced with values.
By religiously practicing work as craft, creation and love—day in and day out—we can bring a character to our work that we may strive for in ourselves. This is the work in which I endeavor with people—that of personal choice and change—that necessary engages us with ourselves and with others. My job is to help people find motive and ownership in a brand of work ethic that is self-perpetuating in its benefit to the whole. It’s toward this practice of cultivation over consumption—day in and day out—that I partner with clients toward a multicultural mecca of sorts in which they own and do the work.
As a reflective practitioner of whatever your profession, how might making a fundamental belief of work in its true essence change how you engage between the people, places and purpose with which you work?
Malii Brown is a Trainer and Management Consultant working globally and stateside to equip people with skills to manage the complexities and opportunities inherent to work and life in culturally diverse environments. She has 12 years experience training leadership, executives and high potentials—both face-to-face and virtually—to cooperate effectively in the U.S. and/or across national cultures. Her client list includes Fortune 500 companies, institutions of higher learning, state government and nonprofit organizations. Malii offers a unique perspective to the work as a Millennial woman of color who has worked and travelled throughout the U.S. and 19 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas. She has varying proficiency in Spanish, Japanese and American Sign Language (ASL). Living at times beyond of her “comfort zone”—both outside of, and within, her native U.S. borders—has presented Malii with professional and personal experiences that enable her to relate to, and resonate with, client-partners through cultural self-reflection and discovery. Malii Brown currently lives in Chicago and travels nationally, internationally and virtually for work and pleasure. Connect with Malii atBrown@EngageBetween.comor via LinkedIn.
Reference to Baha’i scripture, which reads: “…Strive ye to knit together the hearts of men, in His Name, the Unifier, the All-Knowing, the All-Wise.”
Explicit versions of each song—with the exception of Stressed Out—more graphically demonstrate the point being made in this paragraph.
No “clean” and “explicit” versions of these songs are available online.
In the King James version of the Bible, Hebrews 1:11 reads, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
This month's critical incident is featured on the new SIETAR USA website blog, and we invite open comments from our members and guests as each question is posed. The question is...
During a coaching session with a male executive who has been selected for an international assignment to India you inadvertently learn that his wife has a devastating fear of flying. His wife and their 2 school age children plan to join him on this 2-year assignment. Your contract with the client requires you to provide a summary report along with an estimate of risk for international adjustment success for the individual and family. The long flight and potential for her to have to fly alone with her children to join her husband in India increases their risk factor.
Should you inform the client company
about her fear of flying?
Brookfield Global Relocation Services launched the results of the 21st annual, award-winning Global Mobility Trends Survey (GMTS). As the longest running and most comprehensive survey of global mobility trends in the industry, this year we took a fresh look at what is critical to global mobility leaders worldwide. The report features responses from 163 respondents across industries and highlights companies where mobility has a greater alignment to talent management practices and whose global mobility programs show signs of delivering new levels of strategic contribution.
The survey results and Brookfield GRS experts point to six key commonalities among those companies who have gained the greatest results aligning mobility with advancing their talent management strategies. Accordingly Brookfield GRS recommends the following for companies looking to leverage their investment in international assignments for maximum impact:
Integrate global mobility into employees’ overall career planning thereby improving engagement and retention
Track and measure mobility program performance and leverage the data for more insightful conversation with internal business leaders
Focus on candidates with necessary leadership attributes
Maintain a candidate pool for future international assignments
Provide support for employee acclimation – both on assignment and during repatriation
Build the pipeline of future leaders: engage millennials for international positions
Brookfield GRS shares the full results of the 2016 Global Mobility Trends Survey on a microsite, including a Data Explorer that allows visitors to view and filter survey responses by region, industry and size. Visit the microsite to download a full copy of the 2016 Global Mobility Trends Survey report and explore the results at: http://globalmobilitytrends.brookfieldgrs.com
About Brookfield Global Relocation Services Intercultural Group
Brookfield Global Relocation Services develops and implements comprehensive talent mobility solutions for corporate and government clients worldwide. With deep industry experience and unparalleled insights on the future of talent mobility, we enable our clients to craft mobility programs that will empower them to attract, retain and develop top performers.
As a part of Brookfield Global Relocation Services, the Intercultural Group partners with our clients to meet their talent management objectives by delivering flexible, customized solutions that build their intercultural competence. With over 50 years of intercultural experience, Brookfield GRS Intercultural Group provides our clients employees with the knowledge, awareness, and skills required for their success. To learn more, visit http://www.brookfieldgrs.com/intercultural
Three brilliant Keynote Speakers will offer us insights into the disconnection and polarization of people and places. Their scholarship and lived experiences will enhance our knowledge and encourage our work.
Our 2016 Master Workshops are organized into a 4-track framework. Each track includes two coordinated workshops. The 8 workshops relate to 4 themes: (1) Diversity/Inclusion; (2) Consulting and Coaching: Best Practices; (3) Trainig Design and Facilitation of Fames and Experiential Exercises; and (4) Insights into Polarization.