One-Sixteenth of an inch is all that separates us….

One-Sixteenth of an inch is all that separates us from each other.  “I’m not going to be so petty as to let one-sixteenth of an inch come between us! We need each other’s wisdom and encouragement. We may be different cultures, nationalities and skin colors; but let’s remember we are all God’s children”…

So here I was listening to Television Preacher talk about our racial differences, different prejudices and how it limits our ability to reach and connect with God.   How long-held beliefs could limit us from becoming the person God wants us to be.  This man spoke how when we get to heaven there is NOT going to be a section for all different religions, races, creeds, how we are all going to be together in God’s presence.

This man went on to speak about “Invisible Walls”, and when you go beyond those walls you never know what is on the other side.  How we are all from different groups, different backgrounds, yet how we need to break through those “Invisible Walls”.  To get past traditions of separation; “this is the way we used to do things”…so we can all come together…to accomplish something special…

So while I was listening to this man, I thought that I could take what he was saying, without any moral equivalency of course, and transmute that message to how Organizations move to becoming a true Social Business. I mean look at what the parallels are, and they are striking:

Leads to Prejudices Prejudice & People Prejudice & Organizations
“Invisible Walls” (ignorance of other’s way of thinking and why) x x
Different Groups (religious groups or organizational towers) x x
Different Geographies (align with culture differences) x x
Different Beliefs(religious, doctrines) x x
Different Cultures & Traditions (how we do things here…) x x
Unwilling to adopt new ideas x x
Not from my “neighborhood\business unit” x x

So we can see from this table, there are in fact some parallels in both how we rationalize and quantify prejudice against people and organizational prejudices.  Again there is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCY, but the fact is if you take the table above, and inject Enterprise 2.0\Social Business doctrines, you can break down the same types of prejudice within the organization:

  • I am in the US division, and those Europeans’ analyze too much..
  • Those Americans rush to decisions without taking all the factors into account…
  • IT guys always say “NO”. They don’t understand my needs.
  • My manager is in another continent.  He can’t understand me…and doesn’t care about me…
  • I cannot believe that guy\girl was made a manager…I would be better than him\her…
  • India outsourcers don’t know how to think out of the box…
  • Those Europeans workers are always on vacation…they are lazy…
  • Finance thinks it is all about money, they don’t care about customers…
  • My department knows how to run correctly…
  • I can’t stand working with that group..
  • I feel like no one understands me in this company…
  • Those guys the factory are useless, and who cares what they think…
  • So in looking at these above statements, I am sure you have heard or said some of them before in your own company.  With the advent of Enterprise 2.0\Social Business platforms, there may now be the method to break down those prejudices, to break through the “Invisible Walls”.

    Capability Effect on Organization
    Discussions\Forums Start to talk & engage with each other…
    (CoP, CoI, CoE)
    Bring different groups together…under common points…to find consensus..
    Ranking\Rating show true knowledge & verify expertise from others
    Microblogging Communicate
    Blogs Post opinion and get feedback.  Engage..Share ideas…
    Wikis Teach others, learn from others…

    Enterprise 2.0\Social Business is meant to allow companies to come together for common purposes. To be able to break down those organizational silos, those Invisible Walls built up over long periods of time. To be able to openly communicate & collaborate in ways we never thought possible.  To find common ground, dispelling long held traditions that different parts of the company could not work together at all levels.  To break down the Passive Resistance that often derails what the leadership envisioned for the company.

    Maybe I am too idealistic, but since almost one-third of our lives are spent at work, if our companies embraced a culture of inclusion, acceptance, tolerance, empathy, diversity of thought, sharing of new ideas, and promotes organizational harmony…the very traits of a Social Business or an Enterprise 2.0 organization…perhaps this would trickle into our personal lives and effect the way we think about a great many things….

    So the bottom line is there is only One-Sixteenth of an inch that separates us…let us see how we can move past that to work together.   We need each other’s wisdom and encouragement, and while we may be from different cultures and backgrounds, we should all strive to work together…under one company….

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