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Updated: Apr 25, 2023

When journalists asked one of the leading Slovenian CEOs about his ambitions to enter into politics, the Minister for the Economy could be heard in the background (jokingly) pleading: “Blaž, maybe not.”

Along with all the other wars, the world is fighting for talent. This term, first coined almost thirty years ago, refers to the highly competitive recruitment and talent retention, especially in the US and Europe. The race is sooner or later won by the team that is better, stronger, and smarter.

The European Commission has acknowledged that “the EU is currently losing the global talent race. Other OECD countries, such as the US, Canada and Australia, are much more attractive to foreign talent.” The EU is the oldest of the global regions. The average age of the population is 43. Despite immigration, it has been recording a population decline since 2020. The working population is shrinking. Even though it has only 7% of the global population, the EU bears 50% of all global retirement obligations, which make up 25% of its GDP. Stronger?

There is a phenomenon present in the social environment called negative selection. This is, by definition, a primarily political process that appears mostly in strict hierarchies, but it can also occur in business corporations. Negative selection is based on one person at the top of the hierarchy who wants to retain power and therefore selects their employees based on the best principles of non-threatening (in)competence. Smarter?

Jokes have historically been utilised as a useful tool to tackle important social issues. They can be used to shift social boundaries in a way that enables us to transcend traditional norms and encourage audiences to lower their defences and absorb and accept the concepts we want to “transfer” to them.

In this modern environment, companies, organisations, and political entities need strength and smarts. Any appeals to leave the latter at the door should not be taken as a harmless (bad) joke. Because, what if the (bad) joke becomes a (bad) mindset?



About me

I help organizations manage challenging and complex communication issues.


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