What This Blog is About

A long time mentor and friend, Cicely Berry, often says: "all we do comes from our need to survive".

Cis is the Voice Director of The Royal Shakespeare Company. Her profound work and deep appreciation of the human spirit has affected diverse communities all over the world.

Will take you to my current work.

This blog is dedicated to the belief that the overall health of a community or organization is a clear reflection of their ability to communicate.

"Cada cabeza es un mundo" - Cuban proverb

"Every head is a world"

Friday, February 6, 2009

Politics blinds us from seeing true expertise

Recently, a plane was piloted to an emergency landing on the Hudson River in New York City. We all know the story.

The pilot is heroic in his ability, humanity and courage. So were the crew and the fantastic New Jersey and New York ferry boat captains who rushed without hesitation to what could have been a dangerous situation for them. None of these people, including the Coast Guard, Fire Department and Police arrived without profound ability and willingness to help people survive.

Yesterday, I heard that Richard Branson of Virgin Airlines offered the spectacular captain of the plane a job. Branson offered to pay this man twice the salary of any of Virgin's current pilots and invite him to be an astronaut in Virgin's developing space travel plan.

Now Branson is known to be a good man. However, I found this offer to be superficial and exploitative. The captain of the distressed plane is an expert on airline safety with years of learning, analysis and mentoring. Would it not be better to invite this man to help an industry?

Sometimes, I truly believe that we function in the work place from political agendas with limited vision. That politics and money cause us as leaders (in industry and humanitarian issues), to be matrixed within a faulty framework. Politics runs deep in our perception and behavior.

Aristotle said: "All men are by nature, political". The key in that is "by nature".

How is our nature changed or inhibited in a world where politics drains our imagination and puts us into categories of liked and disliked. When vaudevillians become critics of policy and human interaction while people listen and actually, believe them.

Can we see the reality of true expertise when it is in front of us? In today's environment, I believe vision becomes fractured. Not vision as visionary, but vision as simply seeing what is right in front of us.

Why hasn't this pilot
been asked by our government to help the airline industry?
Instead, he gets a public relations offer that's based on a higher salary to continue flying, which demeans both his knowledge and experience.

America has lost an edge on innovation, relevant risk taking and pride of appropriate experimentation. We need to see where expertise is underutilized and who we need to include in the conversation.