My favourite tumblr ever in the world (Obnoxious Expats in Singapore) makes me laugh so much, one, because it’s funny because it’s true, and two because I’m outta there. *cue manic laugh* So it is from this tumblr I am going to illustrate a very important concept that we, the people managers, must sweat out our glands. Here it is: inclusion will always be more attractive that exclusivity. Got it? Live it, breathe it, and avoid this situation below like the plague…
Let’s just set the tone for living in Singapore, as Obnoxious Expat says:
So it’s no wonder the event hosted by Singapore, in Sydney Australia, went a little pear shaped. You see, Singaporeans are leaving Singapore because it sucks to be a local. The place is crowded, to the point of mental health risk. Please explain Obnoxious Expat:
As a result, Singaporeans are emigrating like crazy – US, UK, Canada, Australia & New Zealand tend to be the biggies. (My partner and I ecstatically emigrated to Australia just a few months ago – and we’re still on a high about how good it is!) And to counter losing its population, Singapore hosts events overseas to try and attract Singaporeans back. The latest event, held in Sydney, was advertised as ‘for Singaporeans only’. A couple of Australian’s tried to enter and were turned away for not being Singaporean. It turned into the headline:
Another news source included a quote of a Singaporean’s sentiment of the ‘exclusive’ event:
Can’t you just feel the big warm fuzzy of inclusiveness? No? Huh, neither could I (a white Aussie girl) and my partner (a caramel Singaporean boy). After this recent episode, I can’t say either of us are attracted at all – in fact, repulsed might be more correct. It just reinforces that awful stereotype of Singaporean insularity, or as Obnoxious Expat captures so well:
You know how the overblown headline, and bad taste from this could have been avoided? Inclusiveness.
Targeting is different to excluding. When we target a market, we are pitching something to be as attractive as it possibly can be to a particular group. But targeting this group does not mean disallowing anyone else from being interested in the product. It means pitching it, hopefully hitting that particular target, and having some happy coincidences of interest from an unexpected market.
Exclusion is saying who is, and who isn’t allowed to even be interested in the product. Limiting the market before even making the product attractive! And that’s not to say humans don’t like the idea of exclusivity – we adore it in our ivy leagues and little clubs. But we like the idea because it ‘could be’ open to us. A little like capitalism hey? We like the idea because it ‘could be’ us who is the one getting rich. We will forever be enamored with the fantasy of many things that ‘could’ happen to us. Unsurprisingly, the appeal of exclusivity comes from an inclusive message.
So for forever and a day, if you are going to be involved with people, think inclusivity. Think open, and transparent, and attractive. Of course, attraction is always harder than exclusion, but that’s the deal. A bit more work, a lot more reward. Oh, and it also makes you open to happy coincidences, which are pretty excellent things to be open to – just think Norma Jean and a snap of her working in a munitions plant.
Btw, if you’re wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR – here‘s my explanation.