Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

The second focal point of the TIEMS handbook, Training for rural communities in emergency management & emergency situations, states as an objective the need to “Raising the awareness on technical solutions involving computers, communication and information technology and social sciences to provide emergency and disaster managers with helpful decision support”.

After the recent floods in Germany and the Netherlands, it has been stated that the high incidence on the population may be due to overreliance on ICT technology for communication purposes. It is a fact that ICT relies on the existence of a functioning electrical network. What happens if the electrical flow is cut off? In those situations, the ICT system will go and, with it, internet and mobile communications.

I was living in Germany many years ago, so long ago that the Berlin Wall still existed. One Sunday afternoon sirens started to sound. I don’t know if sirens, used during WWII and after, are the answer. What I know is that we have to put in place a communication network that works even if the electricity goes, even if internet goes, even if mobile communication goes.

Probably, relying on people directly communicating to each other would be the best bet. It would be good to investigate the application of the concept of fractal social organizations to the design of a communication network based on people.

Read Full Post »

I have borrowed the title of this post from an article in the leading Spanish paper El País[1]. It reflects something I have been asking myself since the beginning of the actual crisis and, till now, I haven’t found an answer. Why? Of course there is always the excuse that we have the leaders that society deserves, but that answer is too sad to make it part of my outlook on life.

The challenges facing Europe, and (for that matter) a good part of the developed world, are well known. The most relevant is the demographic change that will make Europe, according to some apocalyptic analysis, a kind of geriatric ward. Following that analysis, the working population will not be able to sustain the increasing mass of retirees. Since older people are the main drivers of care costs, the only solution is to reduce entitlements linked to retirement as well as care benefits.

A clear and easy solution:  let´s cut costs by rationing the expense linked to those pillars of the welfare society that was built, precisely, to overcome the ills of a rapidly changing society in the aftermath of the II War World.

Looking back, Europe was able to manage a similar demographic change when, in the 60’s, the working mass was able to pay for the health and education of an outpouring of new born kids –the baby boomers-. Maybe it was because the extra hands needed for paying for that were allowed to migrate, so that Europe could take advantage of the surplus labor of other countries; just the opposite that certain populist leaders are suggesting these days.

But of course, those were different economic times. Europe was devastated and the needs of the reconstruction created a demand and subsequently an economic bonanza. Today there is no bonanza; as a matter of fact our very non-intelligent leaders have been able to create not one, but two economic crisis in a row. That was quite predictable. If the main “customer” – that is, the State – responsible for 49.4%[2] of the national demand drastically reduces its level of expenditure, what could the result be other than a recession?

And why? Because in their narrow mindedness there is only one mantra: ration. They think, and are proud of saying out loud, that they are like a “good housewife”; they spend only what they have. But I don´t want a “good housewife” leading my country, or any other country! A country is by far more complex than my house, than any house! Leading Europe in such simplistic terms is what has brought us to this sorry state. We need leaders capable of transforming our society, not a bunch of nerds in a position of command, blaming “Brussels” for all ills, hiding the fact that “Brussels” is them.  What comes out of Brussels is their collective will: if you put rubbish in, rubbish comes out.

Read Full Post »

La última entrada dedicada a la gestión de mi blog estaba dedicada a lo que podríamos denominar micro-gestión en la organización. Ahora me gustaría enfocarme en lo que sería una visión estratégica de las organizaciones y más específicamente de aquellas con fines de lucro: las empresas.

Que estamos en una crisis es una realidad que ya nadie puede negar. Que para salir de la crisis alguien tiene que hacer algo es una verdad de Perogrullo. La dificultad viene cuando hay que empezar a identificar quién tiene que hacerlo. Aquí la mayoría mira hacia el Gobierno, incluso aquellos que se declaran abiertamente liberales. Sin embargo tal vez sería conveniente dejar de buscar la paja en el ojo ajeno y darse cuenta de que la viga está en el propio.

Supongo que el señor Amancio Ortega tiene algún arma secreta como para en plena crisis haber aumentado la facturación un 14% y los beneficios un 42% y todo ello con el mismo Gobierno que, al parecer, a otros les está partiendo por la mitad y no hace nada para mejorar la situación o cuando lo hace es tarde y obligado.

Y en plenas crisis mundial o mejor dicho de países desarrollados, léase USA y Europa, hay sin embargo países con estructuras socio-económicas no muy diferentes  a la de España que, por decirlo de forma coloquial, van como un cohete. ¿Qué tendrá Alemania que no tengamos nosotros?

Lo que identifico como claramente distintivo es la existencia de los llamados Mittelstand: PYMES que en un 90% de los casos realizan sus operaciones business-to-business, no dependientes directamente del consumo de los particulares, y que en un 70% se localizan fuera de las grandes zonas industriales, favoreciendo la relación entre la propiedad y sus profesionales. Además no se dedican a hacer lo que otros pueden hacer, sino que se caracterizan por haber encontrado un nicho de mercado en el que son los mejores.

Un corolario se me ocurre, antes de buscar culpables en el más allá, identifiquemos qué podemos hacer nosotros por nosotros mismos y dejemos de buscar que pueden hacer otros por nosotros.

Read Full Post »