Coping with Political Disruption: Time to build new vocabularies of resilience

This has been a truly unprecedented week for global democracy with Mr. Trump being elected as the president of the US, when no one apart from Micheal Moore out of all folks, gave him a shred of hope to win. Like, Brexit, earlier this year, the intelligentsia was overwhelmed with the disruption from a population who saw no use of global mobility of their passports  while they get by on food stamps. While the liberal elite might snigger at the thought of Nigel Farage or Donald Trump, they certainly have a pulse on the ground. Donald Trump being the charismatic salesman, understood the latent requirements of the consumer.

I have been digesting the volumes of post mortem analysis of the Trump victory, that seeks to be an effort into semiotic reading of the events of the week. The Route 128 or Palo Alto tech tribe might be jittery at the prospect of a vision of a man they do not endorse, but often as i have written, the tech industry does not understand the dynamics on the ground with people who have lost jobs overseas and the old way of living with added automation in shop floor work. The banker on wall street with high frequency algorithmic trades is often disconnected with the margins of cosmopolitanism and that ignorance will cost the tech and finance sectors dearly. The vote against global elites is loud and clear, that the economic realities are far more salient. Realities are embedded in everyday lived experience and are always micro in character. Society is three skipped meals from a revolt, as the old saying goes.  More anthropologists should study the impact of tech disruption on brick and mortar communities to gain a thorough understanding of the impending events.

Times of disruption call for a new aesthetic vocabulary of understanding the present while building empathy, execution and inclusive leadership to re-imagine a future in which subaltern voices shall count. There is a Black Lives Matter and Occupy Wall Street, and there is a different politics which might feel that this present politics of dissent is not enough.  The internationalist politics of the left has been inadequate to account for the grievances of the inner cities. In India, Bengaluru, the technology capital of India faced water riots over sharing of the resource with neighboring state of Tamil Nadu shutting down the city for days as on the ground contacts had shared real time experiences. In India, the parliamentary left has been decimated part from Kerala and Tripura with the mantle of anti-globalization politics with the regional players including the Aam Aadmi Party.

We live in a world which is constantly evolving, and business has to adapt with the local political realities of the day. Time to integrate PESTLE analysis in to business continuity risk assessments then and listen and cater to the needs of the community, and not just the token CSR event. Time has come to rethink the lexicon in which we think.


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