Saturday, June 2, 2007

Sher Value: Teach your children well.

Investing in education is investing in our own future, and indeed bringing up our children with the right values is extremely important. This is all the more important when it comes to teaching them business values and become and integral part of the economic scene. A great deal has been done for the education of these young people to learn the practices of business through education however there are some important values that need to be learned in the broader experience of life.

There has been a timely announcement of the Makthoum Foundation for Human Development, which carries to the aim to improve the most important raw material to any business model: PEOPLE. This is where the importance of what I would call "Life Values' become important and how this will integrate into a wider model for the next generation to understand what their responsibility is; the most important of which has to be nurturing of good values.

One matter of concern to me remains the life values that some of the rich and middle class children are being taught or picking up in the country. This is the consumer value as opposed to the productive value that these young men and women are picking up. Let me give you an example.

In many societies the value taught to young adults is that if you want something then earn it. This could mean a part time job or running errands etc. However, when I see 18 year old kids wearing US$ 400 caps that they have bought off their father's credit card it does cause me a problem. These kids are learning to consume before they have learned to produce and I confess that I had the same mentality that if one can afford it then why not give it to the kids. I have changed in that respect by realizing that this is not the way to make business leaders out of the young people.

The position that the country has attained on the world scene is phenomenal considering the short time span in which all this has been achieved. This implies that in the years ahead the attention that the business arena here will receive will be unprecedented, some of this attention may well be unwanted and ofcourse the manner in which the values of the business community will be projected will be crucial. There has to be a concerted effort to bring an awareness into society that the right values are handed down to the next generation of business leaders. I know there is the best of education coming into the system but the values that need to be considered are broader and need awareness from all quarters.

It is important that Dubai is also know for the excellent business values that it brings to the business world and these need to be understood and appreciated by all parties. Perhaps there should be a best practices award for fairness, ethical business behavior and most of all an adherence to business and humanistic values.

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