In case you were caught unaware (and really who wasn’t), the World Economic Forum recently released its 2011/2012 report on global competitiveness. How do I know this? An excellent article by the Globe and Mail’s Tavia Grant succeeded in passing this on to me. I think that there are some real useful bits in the report, according to Ms. Grant, that may be insightful for local businesses. Let me relate a few of the report’s Pillars of Global Competitiveness.
Pillar 1 is Institutions, which refers to, and I quote, “the institutional environment that is determined by the legal and administrative framework within which individuals firms and governments work to generate wealth.” Countries and people of all levels of economic standing are starving for administrative integrity and understanding. Too much red tape and little change in institutional attitudes can inadvertently stifle economic advancement. “While all of these factors are likely to be important for the competiveness and growth, they are not mutually exclusive-two or more of them can be significant at the same time, and in fact that is what has been shown in the economic literature.” I agree. I believe that the successful steady growth and development of any economy is dependent on a kind of economic machine, where essentially all of these factors combined, create one functioning mechanism that propels the economy forward. In turn, all of these multiple, intricate components, compete with one another to enable economic development and sustainability.
Increasingly we see a shift towards independent business ventures, self-reliant projects and a desire to get away from the “corporate ideal”. Due to institutional instability and leaders’ chronic unwillingness to put themselves in the shoes of independent visionaries or aspiring entrepreneurs, startups often find themselves less and less able to compete against the ever-shifting economy and the unchanging institutional mindset. The problem is, in this uncertain environment how can these beautiful minds and aspiring business men and women get the know-how and guidance they need to succeed.
Tavia’s 7th pillar is Labor market efficiency: well we all know that more often than not and in particular with today’s chaotic economic mood, business consultants and strategist struggle to make ends meet. It is important than, that we are flexible and efficient when it comes to ensuring that all workers are at their best. They need the flexibility of being able to multitask at a low cost while transitioning as smoothly as possible. “Efficient labor markets must also ensure a clear relationship between worker incentives and their efforts to promote meritocracy at the workplace, and they must provide equity in the business environment between women and men.” If these men and women are assured that they are making positive changes and that their talent is acknowledged and appreciated, business would prove to be much more efficient. I find myself empathizing with every unfairly treated worker and the uncertain future of a severely bruised economy that needs our help.
As I read on, I also understand that what we refer to so matter-of-factly as economic sustainability, is not merely government’s responsibility and that we really need to learn to work together. All of us are beautiful, capable and intelligent people who can run small businesses or engage in entrepreneurial activities.
In her recount, Tavia touched on some very real issues like poverty, global inequity, and market disparity. There is a definite sense of urgency and concern for the future of businesses, the building and encouragement of balanced economic and labor relationships between men and women.
12th Pillar: Innovation: Businesses must not forget to innovate, envision and think outside the box. Although this might be difficult to achieve, it will come a long way in helping grow and sustain our economy.
Tavia’s overall message is that we all should have a hand in the healthy recovery of our global economic climate. Each of us has an unstoppable desire to learn, grow and be a part of something bigger. We should rely on mutual respect and appreciation of our shared talent and effort. We need not to feel thwarted by the political and social uncertainties of our current reality.