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This is one piece of jargon that is overused not just by MBAs, but by JDs, poll science majors and many others.

By Ben Feuer

In Robert Reich's new movie, "Inequality for All", he talks at some length about this noxious word.  As you can see from the chart below, it has taken off in popularity since 1980, when it was practically unheard of (literally).

Unlike some of the words we feature in this series, globalization does have a unique meaning and can be a very useful word -- in context.  However, that utility is very narrow indeed, and many essay writers attempt to wave the word around, thinking it makes them sound hip and relevant.  Globalization is forcing the world to be more competitive.  Globalization is making it easier for me to sell my doohickey overseas.  Globalization makes my getting an American MBA more relevant.

The sad truth is, globalization has become a catchall, 'dog ate my homework' justification for nearly any entrepreneurial or social ambition.  So take a moment to ask yourself -- does my proposed company, non-profit or initiative actually need to be global in scale?  Local is valuable too!  At Forster-Thomas, we always encourage our candidates to think about who benefits from their proposed idea or business, and to define that group as precisely as possible.  Global communities are, by their very nature, imprecise, and quite frankly, when it comes to 'the world', most of us don't know jack.

So eschew globalization in favor of a more targeted, precise demographic -- no matter what the scale, relevance is what matters.


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