post wp-admin edit 409741

The Big Idea in Innovation

Chang’an (长安), Luoyang (洛阳), Nalanda, Alexandria, Athens, Rome, Paris, London, L.A., cities of the ancient and our modern worlds. What do they have in common? They either were or are centres where people gathered to exchange goods and ideas. Governors and residents of these cities integrate and assimilate new cultures and customs into their local communities, thus forming multicultural societies.

TCG buildings

A few of them were along the ancient Silk Road, where trades between the East and West made wealthy merchants and prosperous communities. The societies became more affluent because they welcomed diversity to make them better. It is a perfect example of finding a shared goal, leveraging the differences, et voila, resulting in greater value for all.

As Winston Churchill once said, “The longer you can look back, the farther you can look forward.” When we trace the history of the “rise and fall” of ancient mega-cities around the world, we cannot ignore the importance of integrating and assimilating multi-culturalism.

According to Harvard University’s research published in 2019 (Driving Diversity and Inclusion – The Role for Chairs and CEOs), there are four statistics that stood out for organizations where senior leadership champions Diversity and Inclusion: 25% of the employees become more engaged, 47% more creative, 41% feel they belong, and 43% likely to stay.

It is like building the ancient cities (remember the video game, Civilization?) Ensuring a stable, harmonious and engaging society will create a sense of belonging. It, in turn, will grow or attract more talents and resources. The community can then be more ready to withstand unexpected calamities and prosper.

big idea

While we may not be Kings or Queens of nations or governors of cities, and we may no longer have the time to play video games, we can certainly apply the lessons derived from those who have built mega-cities of the past. With the advancement of technology, diversity is a given in our society today. Yet, inclusivity must take hearts, minds and conscious effort to exercise.

“If you look at history, innovation doesn’t come just from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.“ – Steven Johnson, Science author & media theorist.

TCG faces

Let’s not speak about D&I for the sake of having to jump on the bandwagon because it is the latest B-School’s buzzword, for it will backfire when it is not authentic. The concept has been there thousands of years ago and has served as the foundation of great civilizations. Let that wisdom guide us in our increasingly connected world so that we continue to innovate and make our world a better place for all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TCG buildings

The Big Idea in Innovation

Chang’an (长安), Luoyang (洛阳), Nalanda, Alexandria, Athens, Rome, Paris, London, L.A., cities of the ancient and our modern worlds. What do they have in common? They either were or are centres where people gathered to exchange goods and ideas. Governors and residents of these cities integrate and assimilate new cultures and customs into their local…
TCG food

Discovering Stories Behind New Dishes

A delicious meal with good company is one of my favourite moments in life. Growing up in South East Asia, I was fortunate to have been introduced to a wide variety of cuisines, notably Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western. Later, as I explore the larger world around me, discovering new cuisines have become part of…
violins

Super DEI Heroes

Thanks to live-streaming, I had the opportunity to watch Joe Hisaishi’s (久石譲) World Dream concert in Tokyo. Hisaishi is a Japanese composer and musical director known for his works with his friend, Hayao Miyazaki’s (宮崎駿) on Studio Ghibli’s animated films (e.g., Spirited Away, My Neighbour Totoro, etc.) To many, Hisaishi is a modern-day legend.
Map - Greenland and Africa

Pondering on Our Own Truths

Since young, I was always drawn to ancient maps. When I was living in London during my undergraduate days, I enjoyed looking for old maps in the antique shops along King’s Road. Today, I have two world maps on my walls reminding me of my dream to travel the world. Now, what if I were…
Kendo

What We Can Learn from Kendo – “The Way of the Sword”

Few knew I’d practiced Kendo (劍道) during a period of my life. It all started with a Manga (Japanese comics) I read when I was little during a school holiday. I was intrigued by the self-discipline of this martial art and the tenacity of the main character. Years later, when I was working and living…
TCG Newsletter May 2021 - hand heart

Celebrating the World Day for Diversity this May

Last month, we talked about Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and the people we surround ourselves with within our spheres. This month, in celebrating the World Day for Diversity, I would like to share this clip (~ 2mins) from the United Nations.
globe-diverse flags

Enriching Our World through Diversity and Inclusion

Today, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) have become the buzz words. On their own, words are just an assembly of different alphabets/characters, insignificant and meaningless unless they lead to awareness and actions. Applying the famous idea: “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with,” let’s expand it and explore our “world.” Here…