Since the advent of the current economic crisis, the term “extroversion” has been considered a panacea for Greece’s unfavourable economic conditions. There was much talk about the need to increase exports and reduce imports whilst even greater investment was poured into our national tourism industry, our high quality agricultural products, our raw materials and everything our blessed homeland has to generously offer. Whilst for the average Greek, all this was unheard of, it was already old news for the globalized economy, whose problems almost outran its achievements, leaving behind the troubles of a small country like Greece.
Unfortunately, even today, after seven years of crisis, when the average Greek is asked to define extroversion, their answer is that it is to do with business decisions which guarantee a positive balance between imports and exports. But is this really the case?
With the exception of the Industrial Revolution, technological unemployment has never been more intense and long-lasting, making our need for global extroversion transcend the issues of trade balance and influence more aspects of our lives. No matter how hard countries and their economies struggle to preserve distinct boundaries, valid interstate agreements and participations in supranational formations and political balances, global economy and production borders have long since crumpled. The existence of the internet alone, along with the prevalence of four to five credit services corporations (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) push the farce of interstate trade to the backstage of the international economy.
In this context, both businesses and employees should develop acute extrovert skills that will enable them to promptly find employment and clients anywhere in the world, at any specific time. When talking about extroversion, it becomes clear that we are not just taking into account national policies and business practices, but we are also focusing on the average individual citizen’s employability. What we are really talking about is Business Extroversion and Extrovert Employability. Let’s consider which skills are considered necessary in each case.
Pursuing and maintaining a positive exports—imports balance is merely one of the goals of extroversion and not the sole one; we also need to focus on developing the conditions that help maintain and encourage that balance. As such, apart from safeguarding a healthy balance, we must also be mindful of the importance of the following:
a) networking and maintaining a presence at international trade fairs
b) accessing knowhow and research tanks
c) presence on electronic platforms
d) international legal intelligence and documentation
e) adoption of international accounting and financial practices and models
f) adoption of cost centre management models
g) linguistic and intercultural intelligence
h) international communication intelligence (culture and behaviour)
The last two parameters in particular are the most neglected in Greece: linguistic and intercultural intelligence on the one hand, and international communication intelligence on the other. It is extremely common to find word-for-word translations of product—related texts from Greek into other languages, which are visible in the eyes of target-market consumers, because the text has not been corrected or edited by experts in multilingual communications. It is no coincidence that until recently, almost 100% of hyphen SA’s sales of this kind were to foreign clients that acknowledge the value of intercultural intelligence.
Let’s move on to individual employee extroversion. Emerging employees and graduates should acknowledge that we are now transcending the norms of traditional employment models, and must develop skills which highlight our international extrovert profile, enabling us to find employment practically anywhere. These skills comprise:
a) linguistic intelligence
b) intercultural intelligence
c) social intelligence (and self-awareness)
d) new media intelligence
e) sales and movement flexibility
f) design intelligence in new content production
g) design intelligence in cognitive load know-how production
h) investment in skills and not just in formal qualifications
The international academic community acknowledges this significant transformation and the research conducted by institutions such as the University of Phoenix, USA, and the αriston project Ltd, UK. The European Commission has adopted Agenda 2020 and clearly refers to employability skills in a landscape where employability, by definition, can only be extrovert. As years go by, we will witness the segregation between two categories of employees, the internationally employable and the locally defined unemployed. Perhaps this is the first time that a new social hierarchy will make its appearance in human history, the class-doctrine of intelligent employability.