As mentioned in our previous post (Globalization & the Olympics (Part I), the Olympics, as well as sports in general, are a zero-sum-game. In contrast, and most fortunately, the globalization phenomena is not. Thus, in the globalization socio-economic phenomena at large, the possibilities are virtually unlimited. This rarely recognized, virtuous characteristic of globalization has to do with the fact that global society’s unsatisfied needs, by themselves signal the right course of action to follow. The signals of the road to follow are of a very varied nature, being the price mechanism one of the most important ones.
This course of action concept is a universal one, and as such, applicable to any human level: individual, corporate or nation. The course of action to follow is constantly signaled by huge opportunities in a myriad of activities in every area: from the glittering-headline-grabbing high-tech area, to less glamorous yet indispensable activities for human well-being (from lodging and restaurants, to taking care of children, the elderly, and gardening, among hundreds of activities). This is why so many nations in all corners of the planet (companies and individuals too) have not only adapted, but have been handsomely profiting from globalization. Those individuals, companies and nations, have made the right reading about what’s going on and where, and diligently have prepared themselves for those opportunities. Beyond the profitable areas of endeavor detected, being permanently prepared to learn new approaches, with an open, flexible mind, is the most valuable asset anyone can have, at the three levels previously mentioned. In that respect, in my book, GLOBALIZATION, numerous successful examples are provided.
In a nutshell, there are a few very important points to highlight when making the comparison between the Olympics and globalization:
- Like in the Olympics, in globalization the most adequate mindset is the one that better suits competition: adequate prior training, high spirits, effective teamwork, and so on.
- Like in the Olympics, globalization has to be a very orderly process, with clear cut rules, widely known by all participants. Big problems can be avoided if this aspect is adequately observed.
- Like in the Olympics, the fundamental spirit behind globalization must be a joyful one, of gratitude to be able to access the global market, provided that the adequate preparatory work has been done appropriately.
- Unlike in the Olympics, given that globalization is not of a zero-sum-game nature, there is room for everyone, provided that major impediments to improve competitiveness are removed. Prejudice, fear and ignorance are usually behind the huge and very common impediments to raise competition in most places on Earth. In short, the key word of the successful globalization game is competitiveness.
In early July, from the 4th to the 16th of July, the 53d edition of the International Mathematical Olympiadtook place in Mar del Plata, Argentina. There were 548 contestants from 100 nations. This competition is for students younger than 20, not yet enrolled in universities. This annual event, that initiated in 1959 with only 7 countries in competition, was practically unmentioned in most media. Granted, a math olympics is not as glamorous as the sports Olympics. Nonetheless, knowledge and organization, in all shapes and forms is what successful competition in the global arena is all about. Unquestionably, there is plenty of room for improvement in the global society mindset, in order to better capitalize the many opportunities available for the organized, hard working teams, be it at the company or country levels.
The Olympics are an excellent manifestation of mankind’s high spirits. They are also, in many respects, a splendid testimonial and an unsurpassable role model for the globalization process at large.