#46 Corporate Experience
Expat Aid Workers may be hopeless idealists while sipping red wine and nibbling the “assortment of aged cheeses” at that trendy outdoor café in Berlin. But they are full-on pragmatists when it comes to solving the problems of the Third World.
And in this day and age it is clear that the solutions to world poverty lie in making the not-for-profit humanitarian sector look and behave a whole lot more like the for-profit sector.
Yes, the ship has sailed. The world now understands that while more traditional Expat Aid Workers certainly meant well (good intentions do matter… they’re just not enough), let’s face it: they lacked a certain cunning acumen when it came to things like – ooh – actually achieving results in the field.
And nobody gets the whole “achieving results thing” like for-profit execs who have forsaken a life of luxury in order to walk with the poor (robust 401.k. plan still completely intact, naturally). They speak the language of the for-profit sector. They, more than anyone else, see the possibility for “innovative mutually beneficial partnerships” (Reaganomics works, and in about 50 more years we’ll be able to prove it…).
The corporate, for-profit sector is the great unstudied, misunderstood void of today that The Third World was twenty years ago. And so the EAW with corporate experience on his or her CV is a lot like the key-informant-who-became-associate-director of yesteryear. The EAW with corporate experience is the cultural interpreter who will introduce the magik bullets that make it all fall neatly into place. This EAW is the one who will explain to those bleeding-heart liberal do-gooders how the real world works, and what they’ve been getting wrong all these years. Though some may resist, it’s increasingly clear to the wider world that it is this EAW who will take the whole International Aid thing to the next level.
In the evolving Aid world of today, having been on the inside of the corporate sector before coming over to the world of charity is currency. It’s power.
Expat Aid Workers love having corporate sector experience!