At the Docks with the Dr.

Today we had the privilege of doing a walking tour through the Docklands with Dr. Darren Kelley. He was extremely insightful and used personal history when explaining the econonic growth of Dublin over the years.

One of the main reasons for the sudden economic boom in Ireland was the availability of young, educated, white collar workers. In a very short time period, the majority of students went to college and got white collar jobs. He referenced the movie “Big” because of this seemingly overnight transformation and sudden inflow of money. Lots of money, businesses, and housing were flourishing in Ireland. However, when the 2008 housing crisis hit in the US… Dublin was affected too (Whenever the US sneezes, Ireland gets the flu). Dublin had to rebound from this crisis and debt, and once they did, major companies began to build Headquarters here and bring a lot of young business to Dublin. These large companies were able to take advantage of the cheap real estate and mainly reside in the Docklands. Now this area is known for big names such as Facebook, Google, Citi Bank, etc.

One of the reasons Dr. Darren Kelley believes the Irish are better business negotiators is because they are “better at bullshitting” than Americans. This makes them better because they are capable of connecting to people and manipulating them. He used the jumprope example to explain this phenomenon. Rather than jumping into an organization blindly and tripping, they are able to observe the behavior and fit in, even if it is “fake”. I am not too sure I agree with his philosophy entirely. Even if the Irish are typically more capable of manipulating conversations… I don’t think you can make this assumption for every scenario. I think the ability to persuade and bend the rules is more of a personality trait rather than a cultural trait. Depending on the circumstances, I think someone from the US could be just as good if not better at bullshitting than someone from Ireland.

Dr. Darren Kelley also pointed out that typically Americans play by the rules and are afraid to get creative because they are afraid to be penalized. America bases its grading scale on rubrics and specific criteria rather than uniqueness and creativity. The Irish, on the other hand, are rewarded when they are creative and encouraged to do so. This creates a very innovative workstyle with free-flowing ideas that are not being confined by rules.

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