Friday, September 10, 2004


‘Why: for what cause, reason, or purpose’.

The dictionary definition of ‘Why?’ seems pretty simple but give it a little thought and you’ll soon realize how powerful that one word is.

What prompted me to write this posting was watching a three-year old learn about the world around him? Every sentence that this kid spoke started with a ‘Why’. Why are we doing this? Why does my toy do this? Why are you being nice (or not) to me? And when you give him an answer, it comes right back at you with a ‘Why’ attached to it. In the process, he has sought the root cause of anything that interests him.

Now, take a look at an adult. How many do you know, who are driven by this curiosity? Look at yourself. How many times have you found yourself seeking the root causes by asking ‘Why’?
Why is someone successful?
Why is someone sad?
Why is a company making money?
Why is a company going bankrupt?
Why are some countries better off than others?
And the list goes on and on.

I believe that when you find an answer to any of these ‘Why’ questions, it makes you more aware of things. What you’ll find is, that with every additional ‘Why’ you are moving down a spiral path, at the bottom of which is your final answer. When you get there, you’ll realize how so many things that we do are related to one cause. Realizing this one cause lets you justify everything else. This kind of exercise would make an individual more knowledgeable and responsible.

Businesses can perform ‘Why’ tests on every process that takes place within the organization and see if the answers lead to their core values or objectives? If yes, they are on the path to success. If not, then that process needs to be redefined.

It’s amazing how much you can learn just by asking ‘Why’. Maybe we should start our days with one question.

Why am I what I am today?

Friday, September 03, 2004

True Globalization

Globalization has changed the global economy by breaking geographic barriers and allowing businesses to reach out to customers and supplier around the world. Lower operational costs and higher revenues have benefited the global organization. With the advent of newer communication technologies and less restrictive trade policies different world economies are better able to integrate and utilize their resources.

Here’s the flipside. All this liberalization has benefited another group of people. The one we would least consider while building such policies. They are the criminals, whose sole objective is to inflict harm and terror on society, both, for profit and pleasure. Surprising, isn’t it? With increasing globalization, governments are finding it all the more difficult to combat such criminals. The same policies and innovations that opened up new markets for businesses have also created new opportunities for criminals.

What kind of criminal activities have most benefited from globalization? Here are the top-five.

Arms Trafficking
Intellectual Property
Alien Smuggling
Money Laundering

(Read Five Wars of Globalization By Moisés Naím for additional information).

Governments are spending billions of dollars battling these activities and are still unsuccessful in controlling them. One primary reason is the lack of information sharing and coordination between the governments of the various countries. Why would countries that are quick in developing trade policies refuse to collaborate to control criminal activities? The biggest obstacle is a lack of trust amongst nations.

But, why doesn’t this lack of trust restrict trade? Because trading partners realize the benefits of working together. The benefits are far greater than any mistrust that might exist. Can nations realize similar benefits in controlling illegal activities? Yes, they can! And when they do that and join hands together, not just for business, but also for a better world, that’s when we have achieved true globalization.