Africa is Leading and Redefining the World

2012-05-11 17:00

The world has converged into one monolithic commonwealth bloc in character, outlook and thinking. We are no longer speaking in exact terms when we are talking about the Western culture and traditions, Asian culture and traditions or African culture and traditions. Some people consider the Western culture and traditions as dominant and on the center of modern living - they have pretty settled on the stereotyped conclusion that life and all people of the world are fueled or energized by Western culture and traditions in particular American way of life and thought processes. Really!

Though the Western world is dominant  in the main it has borrowed quite dramatically and heavily from the Asian cultures and traditions mostly Japan and China. And what you see in essence it is not American or European but Asian.

The dominant business philosophy that is now driving America as the key leading western centrepoint is Chinese and Japanese. Take for example one key factor that is the fabric of modern Western business: relationship marketing, this concept is purely Asian in origin and now borrowed into the West. Relationship marketing is a strategy designed to foster customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement. It is strictly Japanese and Chinese in character, shape and form - it has nothing to do with western cultures and traditions. and today's business practices are rooted in cultivating business relationships. It will be save and easy to arrive at the logical conclusion that modern business is Asian not Western.

The Japanese and Chinese are well known in building businesses around sound genuine personal relationships and kaizen, a concept that refers to constant and never ending minute by minute improvements recognising that simple actions and simple ideas if applied daily has explosive improvements in the broader scheme of business. A key component of kaizen is to identify waste and figuring how to arrests them, these simple actions has tremendous benefits as it decrease production costs and thus increasing revenue.

Then what can the world learn from African culture besides fantastic music, dance and voice that has powerfully and forcefully redefined the world? Some of us know how the ancient African dance, called moon-dance made Michael Jackson to become the ultimate King of Pop. And how Beyonce's turns and twists in her hit song Single Ladies is purely ancient African.

But besides music, song and dance, the world can also learn from Africa the use and application of storytelling. In fact these is the phenomenon that is beginning to catch up with the global world of business. Adding a spark of storytelling in business relationships has tremendous mutual benefits. In the old days in Africa, we taught ourselves values through stories.

Story telling had its effectiveness that go beyond the visibility into the world of the invisible where eternal images are created. In ancient Africa was central to life and was a simple form of community as well as instrument of instruction and purpose in life. Storytelling connected people, groups, communities and societies. In this modern age of technology where business transcend borders storytelling if used effectively like in ancient Africa has potent potential to glue people together from vastly different space and backgrounds.

What are the benefits of storytelling in general and storytelling in business?

A typical story in ancient Africa was used to express history, authority and a strong emotional intensity connection to the past. Storytelling if successfully utilized like in ancient Africa has the capacity to capture rich memories and great epochs in the company’s / society’s  history that can be used for generations to come.

Storytelling in this way can crystallize and immortalize the life of the organization for many years to come, that how legends are created through powerful feeling and vivid imaginations - that mostly comes through storytelling.

Genuine heartfelt storytelling can also nurture and build teamwork and uplift workplace morale that is so critical for success in today’s business relationships.  Great storytelling can also teach the essence of honour and integrity in these modern flimsy, flitting and short memory world. Genuine heartfelt storytelling can further re-establish values connecting today’s disjointed chaotic and restless world with noble natural goodness that comes by inner peace and pure simplicity: these are attributes that are genuinely lacking in today’s modern living.


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