October 29 2007 by Joe Queenan
High atop the category “Suggestions That Have Been Far Too Long in Coming” is a proposal to establish a corporate version of Doctors Without Borders. The idea, advanced by the Afri can-based journalist Jonathan Ledgard, appears in strategy+business, published by consultants Booz Allen Hamilton. Ledgard proposes that midcareer executives in the mood for a change of scenery, who are seeking an opportunity to “make a difference,” should band together to form an organization called Executives Without Borders.
Much like Doctors without Borders, Chemists Without Borders, Engineers Without Borders and Lawyers Without Borders, Executives Without Borders would hang out their pro bono shingles in troubled nations and help the locals set up businesses, open markets, upgrade infrastructure, and even establish multiregional trading centers, eliminating the high costs imposed by middlemen.
Alas, since many
Executives Without Borders would make a fine addition to a global network that already includes such organizations as Celebrity Chefs Without Borders, Life Coaches Without Borders and Model Train Buffs Without Borders. Though there has been talk about establishing Numismatists With out Borders, Factotums Without Borders and People Who Want To Act Like Jimmy Carter Without Borders, to date these suggestions have gotten no further than Washed-Up Rock Stars Without Borders. What makes Executives Without Borders so appealing is that it could easily spin off into even more specialized professional associations: Certified Public Accountants Without Borders, Chief Financial Officers Without Borders, Vice Presidents in Charge of Community Relations Without Borders. The possibilities are literally endless.
What would be the mission of such organizations? Certified Public Accountants Without Borders could help
Is there any downside to such innovations? Yes, the very real possibility exists that predatory, non-compassion ate business people might set up competing but most decidedly non-altruistic organizations of their own. Examples include Private Equity Firm Guys Without Borders, Corporate Raiders Without Borders, LBO Specialists Without Borders and Short-Sellers Without Borders. Since short- sellers already have no borders, it is not clear why they would even refer to themselves as Short-Sellers Without Borders. Short-Sellers is bad enough as it is.
How likely is it that Executives Without Borders will ever see the light of day? About as likely as a Cubs dynasty. Still, the long odds against a dream ever coming to fruition does not make the dream any less worthy.
One day, the
You can feel the excitement building in the