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The ‘American experiment’ had its own strong admirers back in the day, including many foreigners who admired its libertarian political systems. America’s enthusiasm, energy and vitality have meant that it was able to view the wider world without the baggage of older civilizations. The Europeans who crossed the Atlantic Ocean had to start afresh, and to become the world’s primary superpower a mere two centuries later has been a stratospheric ascent. Nevertheless, that ascent was heavily influenced by an imperial inheritance that had accompanied them across the Atlantic, and that will remain a part of America’s national character as the world enters a new cycle of great power competition. Would storytelling in business help your organisation?

The size of China’s economy is projected to substantially overtake America’s between the 2030s and the 2060s. During this period its imperial inheritance will influence how America perceives and manages greater competition from China. The early signs are that the habits of the informal empire have not at all prepared America for a world in which it may no longer be top of the global pecking order as the sole and undisputed superpower. Have you tried powerpoint course to boost customer engagement?

Trump has provided one indication of what this might look like, by escalating a trade war in 2019 over what he has alleged are China’s unfair trade practices (such as undervaluing the renminbi currency to outcompete US firms). As the balance of world order shifts, how ill-tempered America might become will also be reflected in newer arenas of contestation. Silicon Valley has been the latest engine-room of America’s global influence. Does powerpoint training really work?

The cultural and economic reach that America’s tech giants offer has opened a new phase in the USA’s global influence and interests. It is just over a decade since Facebook, Amazon, Google and others began to dominate a large share of commerce and socializing around much of the world, offering a twenty-first-century manifestation of the projection of influence, ideas and control. This is not ‘empire-building’, unless one uses the term analogically, but it is an arena of global influence that reflects some of America’s neo-imperial impulses in a new form. Does the act of storytelling for business really add value?

America has enjoyed a dominant technological and cultural role in the waves of globalization of the 1990s and early 2000s, but it will play a less dominating role in future waves, as the diversity of global influences multiplies far beyond the Western world. To retain a leading world position, America cannot take for granted its global appeal, and may have to work doubly hard to remind others why it earnestly believes itself to be unlike the great imperial powers of the past. Doing so without retreating into isolationism requires skilled leadership, something that the USA urgently needs as the post-imperial world matures.