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Every once in awhile, I take the opportunity to communicate a view or information via this list. Since this is the opener for the year, I want to write about a current event. Recently, the Iowa Caucuses were held. Most of you will not know that I lived in Iowa for several years so I am probably one of the only people you will ever meet who has first-hand experience with the Caucuses. To say the least, they are a riot!!!! Because I have been exposed to the Caucuses and the campaigns, I definitely have a soft spot for the Iowa Caucuses. I feel this way because I believe the Caucuses do the following:

•Make candidates accessible to the masses. When you go from small town to small town, it is possible for a candidate to meet and speak with virtually everyone. There are people I know who have met every living President.
•Force people to discuss their views about what they want from politicians in small forums.
•Force the political parties to think about the needs of everyone in the country. Eventually the campaigns move from these small caucuses to national campaigns and the strategy becomes much more urban. At least if the candidates are forced to spend time in small towns they are exposed to the difference between small town and urban values.

So what does any of this have to do with human resources? A lot. I think there is a lot to be learned from grass roots relationship building. To illustrate the point, I recently watched a TV program entitled “Why Everyone in Canada Hates Toronto”. Some of the common themes that came out of the interviews include:

•At work, and indeed in general society, all the major operational decisions are made in Toronto, leaving those out of the GTA out of the process.
•What works in Toronto does not really work out of Toronto because of differences in the cultural context.
•A Toronto view ignores the needs of rural Canada.

Imagine what might happen if we were truly more inclusive in the way we made decisions.

Anyway, I didn’t write this to spur on hate mail, but if any of my comments make sense to you, please feel free to write me with your own comments.

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