As the 21st century unfolds, we are told that the world is embracing globalism -- a key change in the economic, political and cultural movements that, broadly speaking, move the various countries of the world closer together. This idea refers to a number of theories that see the complexities of modern life such that events and actions are tied together, regardless of the geographic location of a specific country (political unit). The idea of globalism has become popular in economic and cultural terms with the advent of a number of macro-trade agreements combined with the ease of communication brought about with the Internet and cellular communication.
Would we not logically think, then, that countries in the developing world would be doing their upmost to encourage global thinking? That these same countries would embrace the chance to forge a nation of entrepreneurs and move into a position of self-sustaining economic growth? For globalism to truly work in a robust manner, organizations must have leaders at multiple levels that are trained and capable of global, 21st century, thinking. This new paradigm involves far more than simply producing more MBAs, and in fact, calls for a new initiative in education and training.
Roche Corporation, part of the Hoffman-LaRoche global health care corporation, has a program called the Global Accelerated Talent Development Program. This program is designed for a very few exceptional individuals with a Master's or PHD that have minimal early career experience, but passion for the health care industry. The idea is to develop and cultivate the leadership responsibilities that will transform global business one individual at a time (Roche, 2011). This is quite laudable, and Roche has correctly viewed that responsibilities must start somewhere, but in effect, be shared by corporations, communities, the government, and especially educational institutions.
Part 2- In the United States, education is offered at all levels from pre-kindergarten to graduate school, typically K-12 funded by public monies. Elementary and secondary education involves twelve years of mandatory schooling, or GED, resulting in a High School Diploma. A distinct feature of the American educational system is its focus on decentralized organization (Mondale, 2002). Elementary and secondary education is financially supported by three levels of government - local, state, and federal. Furthermore, it is again divided into public and private institutions. The main disadvantage of the decentralization is the quality of education received by the students, clearly dependent upon the social and geographical area of habitation (Odden, 2003). Local entities, in theory, are responsibility for operating the public education systems. In fact, much of the local control has been superseded by the State, with State legislation controlling financing, ability to tax, and even sometimes line-item revenue support. These methods, academic standards, and policy and curriculum guidelines are often dramatically different between States (Palestrini, 2006). Because of these differences, and incongruities, and despite national legislation and public policy (No Child Left Behind) assessing national educational scores shows a clear demographic predisposition to areas with greater tax revenue (Kenyon, 2007). Without the ability to think globally, the United States may lag behind in the tasks necessary for global leadership to occur. If this continues unabated, we will find a world in which U.S. graduates are unable to participate in global economic development, which could have an effect on employment rates.
Part 3- Clearly, Roche has the right idea in both recognizing that global leadership is crucial and in developing a program to support that view. However, there are only a few openings in this program, and it is limited in scope to the field of Health Sciences. As a model, though, if other companies, particularly multinationals, were to put training programs in place and robustly fund them, within a generation we would have a marked improvement in global leadership. However, there are other layers necessary that are more immediate -- not only America's public schools, but colleges and universities, too.
Several things need to happen that will, in effect, produce individuals who are more readily adaptive to the competitive nature of global leadership. Research warns us that the U.S. will become less competitive in the global economy because of the decline of studies that support globalism (geography, foreign languages, etc.). To build a viable infrastructure, all levels of American education must: