Nationalism, religion, team spirit, the EU, business mergers

This post was inspired by Henry Kissingers "On China", The European Union and the mergers of teams that I have been involved.

All through history armies fighting for a nation, religion, their homeland or their way of life have proved to be many times stronger than the armies of mercenaries. The same is true for team spirit in an organization. (Religious) belief in what we do and having a greater meaning in ones job surely helps to perform better. So creating team spirit, a vision, a mission, symbols, rituals and belief would be the right thing to do. Both for a team, a company, a nation or a state. Or would it?

On the other hand one could argue that if people were less religious and less nationalistic there would be less wars. Strangely enough most of the wars are fought over ideology and not over money or natural resources. War is a somewhat extreme example, but more cosmopolitan people and nations do get along better with each other. How this phenomena reflects to businesses is that more open minded companies build alliances easier, outsource better and are better in open innovation. So there are huge benefits in not building a strong team spirit. Not teaching the national anthem at schools, but teaching that all people are good and interesting. The pupils would be open minded, friendly and would .... never work long hours unless paid, because what would be the point of that?

One of the best illustrations of the problem is a merger. If two companies with strong identities and history are merged then the identities become a serious obstacle. People do not give up their beliefs easily and the emotional side of a merger is always difficult to handle. But imagine the magnitude of this problem when a merger of nations is needed! Like for example we currently need to do in Europe. This is because open markets->aligned tax policy->aligned policy->centralization of power.... and well... if you need motivated people under the new rule then you must build up a common team spirit. A European spirit!

I end this thought by some intrigueing questions:
- Do national football teams play better than club teams?
- In order to build up the European nation shouldn't we have a European basketball team? We could perhaps beat the USA?
- Is there any economical reason not to educate your children in English?

The ultimate employee and a citizen would be one whose passion about the company and state could be turned off and on and also switched from one to another. For example a person who was a purely atheist estonian believing in free phonecalls making the world better. Then had his passion switched off for a year. And finally switch himself to a church going Christian american believing that making money off the corporate market is a Gods gift that one should pursue with total determination.


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