Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, SOAS, University of London comes up with ‘Bani Adam: the 13th-century Persian poem that shows why humanity needs a global response to coronavirus’ to tell us that this novel pandemic per this poem is not locally that much of a novelty, not different from its predecessors and it is all about human connectivity.
Coronavirus is all about human connectivity. From a philosophical perspective, I’ve been thinking about how this virus is forcing us to confront our common fate, highlighting our connections in the process. The novel coronavirus defies geography and national borders. There is no escaping it – exactly because humanity is inevitably interdependent.
In a beautifully emotive poem called Bani Adam (human kind), drafted in the 13th century, the Persian-Muslim polymath Sa’adi used what can be employed as an analogy to our current challenge in order to visualise this common constitution of humanity. It reads:
Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain.
These verses from Sa’adi’s Bani Adam decorate the walls of the United Nations building in New York and the poem was quoted by US president Barack Obama in his videotaped New Year (Nowrouz) message to Iran in March 2009 to open up a new chapter in Iranian relations with the US. More recently, the British band Coldplay used the poem as the title of a song in their album Everyday Life. It’s a poem that speaks to the inevitability of a common fate of humanity, that unites us into an intimately shared space.
A common fate
This effort of conjoining what has been artificially divided through nationalisms, religious doctrines and other forms of ideology, was equally central to a poem by the German genius Johann Wolfgang Goethe. He was very much influenced by Persian/Muslim philosophy and poetry, in particular by the 14th-century poet Hafez-e Shirazi.
In his magnificent work West-Eastern Divan, a very early manifesto against cultural essentialism – viewing one’s own culture in complete separation of others – Goethe wrote:
When people keep themselves apart in mutual disdain. A truth is hidden from the heart. Their goals are much the same.
As a communicable disease, the coronavirus compounds our inevitable common fate. Our existence cannot be safeguarded in isolation, we can only survive together: my fate is yours, ours is theirs. Social media, for instance, has adopted terms such as “viral” to describe particularly successful Tweets or Facebook posts, which demonstrate the dialogues between our bodies and minds that are ongoing at every second of the day on this global canvass. This interconnected reality of ours merges (rather than divides) categories such as “us” and “them”, “self” and “other” which are at the heart of problematic ideas about today’s eternal cultural wars.
Our leaders continue to speak about the coronavirus in distinctly martial and psycho-nationalist terms. Even in a staunchly secular liberal-democracy such as France, president Emmanuel Macron described the crisis in war-like terms. US president Donald Trump used similar words when he likened himself to a “wartime president” in order to describe his fight against the virus.
And yet at the height of the pandemic, Trump’s administration pushed through more unilateral sanctions against Iran, which has been badly hit by coronavirus, and Venezuelan officials . At the time when countries such as China and Cuba are sending specialists to the epicentres of the crisis, Trump has punished the most vulnerable members of Iranian society for the sake of nationalistic power politics.
In search of a global response
In the meantime, many of us are concerned because we are finding out, tragedy by tragedy, that there is a lack of multilateral cooperation. Our elected leaders are incompetent or helpless and rampant capitalism has focused much of our resources on profit, rather than on institutions that serve the people.
The coronavirus transmuted into such an all-encompassing pandemic for two simple reasons. First, our common biology does not respect any of the mental and physical borders that were created to keep us apart. Second, coronavirus revealed how globalised our contemporary world is. Our lives are so closely interlinked and networked that this outbreak travelled all around the world within weeks.
The speed at which the virus spread demonstrates quite clearly the contracted space that we are all living in on Earth. Yet our politicians speak about national remedies and continue as if nothing has happened, as if we can insulate ourselves forever. It should be the World Health Organization and other UN bodies which take the lead to coordinate global policies for global problems.
Yet, in clear contradiction to what is needed, politicians continue to speak of coronavirus in terms of mere national emergencies. This approach compartmentalises what is conjoined, and contributes to the current crisis which can only be faced properly with global coordination and within multilateral organisations. But the UN and its auxiliary network is despised by the new breed of hyper-nationalist leaders all around the world. It is these leaders who have stunted our ability to resolve borderless challenges such as this current pandemic.
There is a common fate inscribed in our lives which demands global answers to global challenges. “No man is an island,” wrote the poet John Donne in 1624. It’s time that we act upon the science, with the empathy of a poet, and institute a new form of internationalism that acknowledges and celebrates our common humanity.
For a number of years now, the provision of languages in British schools and universities has been in decline. Yet, as Brexit looms largely on the horizon, there has been much talk in the media and from politicians about the need for a “global Britain”.
Arguably, a country can only really be global and outward looking if language skills are considered essential for its citizens. The government seems to share this view – at least to some extent. This is reflected in the fact that the Department of Education has provided funding to open a National Centre for Excellence for Language Pedagogy and to roll out a cross-sector mentoring project, which was piloted very successfully in Wales.
A number of surveys, such as the annual British Council survey of English primary and secondary schools, reports on the falling numbers of pupils participating in language learning. This is a decline that started in 2004, when languages were taken out of the compulsory curriculum in secondary schools.
There was a rise in the number of pupils taking languages in 2011 as a result of the introduction of the English Baccalaureate (EBACC) – which has a language as a core subject. However, this increase proved to be shortlived, despite the government’s ambition for 90% of pupils to gain the EBACC by 2025.
In 2014, the Guardian commissioned a survey which questioned young people about learning languages. The survey identified some of the main benefits people perceive to be linked to learning languages. This includes: better job prospects abroad, talking to other people, learning about another culture, learning another skill, and incentive to travel.
On the other hand, perceived downsides were seen as languages being difficult, the predominance of English, and that the way languages are taught in schools is “not useful in real life”.
To find out more about why young people choose (not) to study a language, we surveyed 107 students that were studying a language at Lancaster University or the University of Nottingham. This includes students who studied a language as an optional module to complement their main degree course, as well as those who studied a language as part of their degree.
Our survey showed that for the vast majority of these degree students (over 90%) and students taking optional modules (over 75%) their main motivation was enjoyment as well as a genuine interest in the language and the countries where it is spoken. This aspect ranks much higher than “employability skills” – despite this often being the main angle under which languages are promoted.
Students do, however, realise and appreciate the broad range of transferable skills gained from studying languages. This includes analytical and problem solving skills, the ability to communicate well (also in your first language), and committing yourself to a long-term project.
When asked what might put young people off studying a language and why they think there are not more language learners in the UK, many referred to the lack of engagement with cultural aspects – such as history, politics, society or literature – in language classes. They also spoke of the myth of English being the only language you need, poor handling of languages in the British education system, and the lack of governmental initiatives to promote the study of languages.
To get more people excited about languages then, there needs to be a rethink of the way in which they are promoted and embedded into the curriculum. And there must be more focus on enjoyment and intercultural competence and more cultural engagement and “real-life” tasks.
This is important, because studying a language is not just about enhancing your CV and adding something useful to your skills set. It is also about embracing other cultures, developing intercultural competence, enjoying languages as an exciting object of study, and reflecting on your own national and cultural identity.
The government should also recognise the importance of languages and rethink the value placed on foreign language competency in the British education system. A national policy on languages could help to address attitudes towards languages and further promote joined up thinking across the different education sectors.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, out of the Electoral Corps of 22,883,772 of registrants, the participation rate reached 44.96% for the elections of the Assemblies of Prefectures (APW) and 46.83% for the communal assemblies (APC), giving a slight increase in relation to the participation rate in the local elections of 2012 (40.92% for APW and 44.26% for APC). The votes cast are in the order of 10,140,000 for the APW and 10.5 million voters for the APC. The number of blank ballots is 1.8 million in the election of APC and 1,080,000 for APW, although important, a relative decrease from to the numbers of voters compared to previous elections. The lessons of the Algerian local elections are not only to be learned by the Algerians themselves but to also be meditated by all in the MENA region.
As put by Zawya’s latest article, Algeria‘s ruling parties retained their majority in local elections, taking more than 50 percent of the vote, the interior minister said on Friday. Participation is closely watched by officials as they attempt to reverse a trend of increasing political apathy. More than half of Algeria’s population are under 30 and many feel disconnected from the ageing elite which runs the country.
Are there any lessons to be learned? Yes and these number eight as follows:
First, the process of the elections went generally in a quiet, except for a few isolated cases atmosphere. It must be recognized as a better participation in relation to past local elections including that of the Legislatives of May 4th, 2017; citizens having certainly been more attentive to the local personalities they know.
Second, this can be an indication for the forthcoming presidential elections of April 2019. Meanwhile, we have a good outfit of the FLN party as first political force that is far ahead of the RND whether forr the APCs or the APW. There were some breakthrough of a young party and a notable regression of the so-called Islamic parties.
Third, the constituted bodies such as the armed forces that had been targeted, by some parties through the press and television, information taken over by the international media, claiming it to be wrong or right and that these would have contributed to the jam of the ballot boxes and it would be better to preserve these strategic institutions off any political turmoil, while recognizing its members with the right to vote freely.
4th, because of the voting mode, eliminating small parties; it would be desirable to have a proportional system. With this method of voting for decades we have results that do not reflect the real picture of society, giving the same political component for years that does not translate the social reality.
5th, we witnessed a dull election campaign with promises without a tomorrow knowing that the local elected officials have little or no real power of decision. This reflects a significant demobilization of the population, which is more accentuated for the youth, reflecting the lack of confidence between the state and the citizen. And the big problem is how to restore that confidence. Hence the urgency to revise the codes of prefectures in order to involve and empower local elected officials by a real decentralization and overall functioning of both the political and economic system. Indeed, a considerable political training background has surfaced, often without a real program or serious prospects, which is mainly manifested on the occasion of electoral appointments as a result of the current State subsidies.
6th, an intellectual and above all moral level of those who will have to legislate and manage communes would be required as a minimum. Why not require, because of the obvious low and doubtful levels of some of the candidates, that in the future a minimum of university curricula and clearance by justice should be attained prior to be eligible?
7th, is about reorganizing on democratic foundations all civil society by putting In place effective intermediary networks between the state and the citizen referring to a real political decentralization and a change of course of the main economic policies.
8th, if the official participation rate is subtracted from the large number of zero ballots, the participation rate is less than 35%, a rate to ponder by political parties yet that this is not peculiar to Algeria alone; the world’s citizens tend to be uninterested in politics, with a high rate of abstention.
In summary after these elections, the citizen and the authorities are again faced with the harsh economic and social reality. A change in the trajectory of socio-political and economic and a broad front to mobilize all segments of the public is urgent in the face of the inevitable budgetary restrictions and potential tensions between 2017 and 2020.
Believe in the industry of the Future and the Future of the Industry is a Report to the French Government on the impact of the Fourth World Economic Revolution and is believed to be as relevant to the new Algerian growth model as global geostrategic challenges of 2030 as it is to that of France itself.
Hoping for a concrete application and meaning for the well-being of Algeria, I have with few experts worked free of charge, on what I was and still am advocating the reasonable solution of deep reforms, as always taking into account the social reality.
Several international media have recently asked me about Algeria and its economic choices that affect its future sustainable growth, taking account all of the geostrategic changes that lie ahead between 2020 and 2030. My reply was that I have discussed the very topic between 2010 and 2016. Would these be applied by the new Government, I wondered ?
So, instead of indulging in the installation of yet again other commissions or to rush to other expensive consultancies, I would with all due respect recommend to the Government to study so as avoid the mistakes of the past and in order to adapt it to the country’s reality the important and useful white paper titled “Believe in the industry of the future and the future of the industry”; a report addressed to the French Government (2017) in 84 pages based on a survey of French industry leaders. It is as a matter of fact, the backbone of the economic program of the French president Emmanuel Macron (1).
This report first recalls that industrial history would without doubt that the formalization of the concept of industry of the future was born in Germany under the heading “industry 4.0”as of a will to drive upmarket the German machine tool industry in the face of competition from Asia. But with the gradual rise in power of the processing of industrial data and acceleration of innovations, the concept took a whole other dimension.
Meanwhile, the avalanche of new technologies that occurred in recent years has indeed an important potential for transformation and improvement of the performance of the industry which could make the assumption of re-industrialization of our country credible again.
The goal is to customize mass production that has not yet been reached, the ecosystems that will be the first to provide a “digital continuity” will also be those that help get production that much closer to the final customer.
The report is structured as follows:
Part I – Industry of the future: framing, context and issues
Framing and context
What economic issues?
Part II – The five challenges of the industry of the future:
How to think the transition?
L’ industry of the future must be thought of in terms of performance, not technology.
Do not underestimate the emergency, nor the competitive pressure
Make transformation a matter of skills and organization
Adopt a broader vision of the value chain
Place the internal operational model and the ecosystem management at the heart of transformation plans.
Part III – different degrees of mature businesses: an industry of the future with variable geometry
Introduction and definition of the criteria taken into account
Putting into the perspective the model
Part IV – threat or opportunity of the industry of the future
What are the prospects for French industry?
The French specificities
What decisions are at stake? –
A shared vision?
Survey methodology and assumptions of the model.
It must be said that the majority of the experts including those of the Economic and Social Council of Algeria use to always say the opposite of what is proposed today by the Government. How then can they be now that credible?
In several of my contributions from several years ago, I drew the attention of the Government that hydrocarbons price will be low and for a long-time; refer my conference before the Prime Minister and the members of the Club of the Pines of Algiers on November 4, 2014, and before the senior executives of the National Security Department on May 15, 2015
I elaborated on the policy of widespread subsidies that together with the current industrial policy could lead Algeria right against a brick wall. Short of ideas, the country must avoid living on the illusion and outdated patterns of development, such as conventional mechanical industries of which car assembly of very low capacity, highly capital-intensive with Algeria taking on all costs with the rule of 49 / 51% is at the forefront.
Without a serious shift in economic policy, based on good governance and the development of knowledge, Algeria may end up deadlocked by 2018/2020 with the risk of depletion of its foreign exchange reserves when foreign operators, not getting remunerated, may decide to leave it altogether.
As far as the “emergence of an economy” and a globalized product of development of today’s capitalism is concerned, the process is not yet complete, and since the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, questioning on the one hand of the ability of nation States to do in the face of these changes.
This is no longer the time where the wealth of a Nation identified with its major firms, large firms having been modelled on military organization and have been described with the same terms: chain of command, job classification, the scope of control with their leaders, operating procedures and standard guidelines.
All jobs were defined in advance by rules and pre-established responsibilities. As in the military hierarchy charts determined internal hierarchies and great importance was attached to the permanence of control, discipline and obedience. This rigour was necessary in order to implement plans with accuracy to benefit from economies of scale in mass production and to ensure strict control of prices in the market.
As in the operation of the army, strategic planning required a decision on where you want to go, followed up by a plan to mobilize the resources and troops to get there. In the totally outdated mechanical era, the production was guided by predetermined objectives and sales by pre-determined quotas. The innovations were not introduced by small progress, but by technological leaps due to the rigidity of the organization.
At the top, large bureaucracies occupied the rectangle of the chart, halfway up middle managers and right at the bottom of the workers. Education, from elementary to upper education through high school, was only a reflection of this process, orders being transmitted by the hierarchy, the schools and universities in large sizes to ensure economies of scale as well.
These analyses have also been widely developed between 2012 and 2017 in the Algerian press and internationally under the titles as shown below.
A new organization is currently taking place showing the limits of the old organization with the emergence of new dynamic sectors in order to adapt to the new global configuration. We are seeing the successive passage of the so-called Taylorism organization marked by integration, the Divisional, matrix organization that are intermediary organizations and finally to the recent organization in networks where the firm focuses its strategic management on three segments: research and development (heart of value added), marketing and communication and under the Treaty all the other components.
And with more and more oligopolistic organizations of a few companies controlling the production, finance and marketing networks are no more national. Even those said small and medium-sized enterprises connected as networks of subcontractors to large ones could be among these.
Jobs in current production tend to disappear involving mobility of workers, the widespread use of temporary employment, and therefore permanent flexibility of the labour market with the permanent recycling training called upon in the future.
Thus, other types of jobs appear including the breakthrough of producers of symbols whose conceptual value is higher than the added value from the classic economies of scale, questioning the ancient theories and economic policies inherited from the mechanical age era like the old political “industrialising industries” based on the model of the old Soviet Union while the 21st century is characterized by the dynamism of large firms but especially those linked in networks to them SMIs/SMEs all devoting a good portion of their budget to research and development.
With the predominance of services that have a more and more merchant character contributing to the increase in the added value, the firm turns into a global network, and it is impossible to distinguish between individuals affected by their activities that as a consequence would be a large, diffuse group, around the world. In this global village, there exist only consumers/producers cross networks.
This will have implications for the future organization at all political, economic and social systems levels.
Finally, this analysis raises the issue of national security. Since 2012, I did not do enough warning the Government on the inconsistency of its policy of subsidies, the inconsistency of its industrial policy and against a policy of hidden import of car assembly plants as well as other industrial segments living off a certain rentier situation.
Two lessons are to be learned.
First, the money capital does not create wealth; it is only a means to an end. In fact it’s the work and intelligence that are the source of permanent and sustainable wealth of a Nation.
Second, globalization is a reality and time is never caught back in economics. There is an urgent need for a strategic vision as an adaptation to this unstable and turbulent world, a Nation that does not move forward, would necessarily step back.
I would not remind enough that the engine of any development process lies also in research and development and that without the integration of the knowledge economy, no industrial and economic policy would have a future in the 21st century, where technological innovations would inevitably have a constantly changing feature.
Algeria would be best in investing in democratic institutions than in segments where it can temporarily have some comparative advantages: agriculture, tourism major deposit, new technologies and in sub-segments of industrial sectors taking into account the profound technological changes. I would suggest a Monitoring Committee coordinate the investment policy which must synchronize with the dialectical relationship between the complementary roles of the State and the market, put an end to the present distortions which may cause losses, due to lack of visibility and strategic coherence. firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) « Croire en l’Industrie du futur et au futur de l’industrie » as translated by “Believe in the industry of the future and the future of the industry” – white paper – report to the French Government – (2017) in 84 pages – A survey of French industry leaders with (1) to Ernst Young by Opinion Way between September and October 2016 directed by Alain Galloni and Olivier Lluansi associate, Ernst & Young Advisor (Paris 2017) . The same report in PDF format is at
Algeria was ranked 108th out of 127 in June 2017 in the Global Innovation Index, a global ranking of countries according to their abilities and results of economic innovation as published annually by Cornell University, the INSEAD and the UN’s World Intellectual Organization Property (WIPO). The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4FIR) is on us; this will be based on the generalised Knowledge and Technology Transfer throughout all endeavours. We should therefore not forget that the world is not waiting for Algeria to get on the band wagon. This country is not isolated and its assessment from either the above GII 2017 as from official data shows the limits of the administratively bureaucratic approach that lead to that ranking.
This brief analysis is a synthesis, of Volume VI of the multidisciplinary audit, submitted to the Government in January 03, 2013 (1).
According to the WIPO, technology transfer is the process of designating the formal transfer to industry of discoveries resulting from University research and the commercialization of these discoveries in the form of new products and services.
As far as academic research is concerned, technology transfer is an operation that is to transfer a specific piece of knowledge from research, formalized or not in the form of patent(s) or deposited property rights, to another center of research, public or private, with the intended purpose to pursue for industrial development or to turn research into industrial innovation, by assigning any discoveries to an industrial enterprise.
If we limit ourselves to industry, technology transfer is the sale by contract of all rights of use of a technique, a process, a product (commodity) that it owns, as well as the know-how for its industrial production.
The technology owner remains the owner and the buyer is contractually limited to a market (for example geographical limits, customer type, volumes) and constraints of broadcast (the purchaser cannot transfer technology).
As one should not confuse technology transfer with an assignment of license, the transfer of technology including the disclosure of know-how adapted to the context of the purchaser whether in public or private law.
What are the different forms of technology transfer?
We can classify this in different forms also often complementary. First, the dissemination of knowledge, sometimes named dissemination and transfer of knowledge, which is a discipline practiced by research centres for the purpose of information of public bodies et enterprises.
This broadcast is practiced in conventions, through publications constituting one of the information sources of technological intelligence that monitors the evolution of knowledge, know-how and the feasibility of inventions in a certain field and its development environments.
Strictly speaking, technology watch is not a transfer of technology but facilitates the transfer. Then there is the technological slurping, i.e. digging up sleepy projects in research laboratories and universities that did not find industrial opportunities and promote them for purposes of enterprise creation.
Another method of transfer often used in industry to facilitate knowledge management is the recruitment of executives and specialists in a given technology. It is one of the activities of head-hunters, recruitment firms or sometimes this leads to industrial espionage if the beneficiaries of the information know how to exploit them.
There is no real training phase, unless the data transmission includes didactic elements. Also included as transfer facility in a first phase is reverse engineering as applied in technical education, the counterfeiting or piracy (often prohibited under the terms of the WTO)
Finally there is the partial transfer of technology through the granting of a license to the purchaser production but excluding certain technologies (protection of know-how). Good management requires knowledge and skills.
Knowledge fundamentals to technology transfer
Facing up to the pressure of competition with innovation, development of tailor-made products and increasingly complex technologies geared for the production of more and more personalized services, the required work of employees has no immediacy. Increasingly, directions of companies request of employees to lay down knowledge of their own work thus the importance of continuous training.
This production of knowledge is based on commitment and involvement that make initiative, intuition, judgment (famous Japanese Toolbox source of innovation) play a central role but also on the abilities of the individuals and the wider “social knowledge” that is strategic for every company that wants to continue to succeed.
Knowledge management relies on the levers of success such as knowledge embedded in products and services; knowledge and skills within a company (human capital); knowledge contained in the process (internal structure); corporate memory; transactional memory and finally knowledge as intangible property (intellectual capital).
This openness reflects the necessary break with the forms of governance that are centralized, disciplinary and mutilating as inherited from the Ford era. Capital also goes social in different techno-organisational devices influencing the rapport of individuals at work.
Surveys clearly show that this extension of social knowledge is accompanied by new forms of segmentation (qualified / not qualified; mobile / immobile; young / old; man / woman) and a sharing of activities and services that become more and more merchants (outsourcing computing to India electronics to Japan, South Korea, etc.)
This sociocultural approach that reflects the complexity of our societies with technology transfer being the apparent appearance owes much to the important work in terms of the approach to the economic anthropology of the Indian economist Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen whereby according to him, there cannot be any sustainable development without the introduction of the competitive market economy and of a real democracy that only allows both tolerance and confrontation of ideas and growth of renewable energy taking into account the cultural anthropologies of societies.
There is generally a dialectical link between technology transfer and culture
National culture being not static, but evolving as strongly characterised by the opening of a society onto environmental values, myths, rites and signs shared by the majority of the social body is an essential constituent of the culture of enterprise and technology transfer.
The successful experiences of Japan, emerging countries such as China and India show that we can assimilate technology without renouncing one’s culture. Moreover, the transfer is favoured where there is a better understanding of convergent and divergent values between two groups whereas trying to impose one’s own values could lead to a relationship of domination that in turn limits the transfer.
Corporate culture is also a by-product of a national culture and thus a set of values, myths, rites, taboos, and signs shared by the majority of employees and an essential element to explain the strategic choices by strengthening common values: example, regulations behaviour codes, job descriptions, as well as by the rewards and sanctions system so that employees are mobilised for the purpose of identification with their company and take over its history.
All this facilitates the transfer of technology that should not be limited to its technical, but to all managerial, organizational and commercial etc. aspects. The index of human development or HDI developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist Mahbub ul Haq and Indian Economist, Nobel Prize in economics Amartya Sen reflects the importance of the development of human capital including education and health.
Change of legal framework blocking investment and technology transfer
It is useful to recall that from the political independence to the present day, the Algerian economy has experienced different forms of organization of public enterprises.
Prior to 1965, self-management was preferred; from 1965 to 1980, we had large national companies and from 1980 to 1988, we witnessed a first restructuring carving up the large national corporations. As a result of the crisis of 1986 that saw the oil price collapse, timid reforms have begun in 1988: the State creating 8 Fund that were responsible for managing the various State portfolios.
As a result of cessation of payments in 1994 (with the consequent rescheduling), in 1996, the State created 11 holdings in addition to the 5 regional ones with a national Council of privatization; in 2000, we are witnessing their merger in 5 mega holdings and the removal of the national Council of privatization; in 2001, a further reorganization created 28 companies of participative management (GSP) in addition to large companies considered as strategic and in 2004, these GSPs are grouped into 11 and 4 regional ones.
At the various Governments Councils held throughout year 2007, a new organization is proposed by the Department of the Promotion of Investment, (both large companies oil SONATRACH and SONELGAZ, governed by specific laws being not concerned), articulated around four major segments: from the economic development corporations that fall under the exclusive State Management; companies of promotion and development by promoting partnership with the private sector, national and international; called State companies to be eventually privatized ; and finally, a company responsible for the liquidation of structurally loss-making enterprises.
In February 2008, this organisation proposal that did not have unanimity within the various spheres of authorities is abandoned. A commission was instead created to define the typical organization of the public economic sector between 2011/2016 with differing industry groups.
Not forgetting this ambiguous 49 / 51% of company share ownership that was introduced in 2009 to all enterprises including banks in 2010, regardless of strategic and non-strategic sectors drove away foreign capital, Algeria supporting all additional costs.
These periodically recurring changes of organization discouraged managers in the public economic sector, as well as the local and foreign investors clearly showed the dominance of the administrative and bureaucratic approach at the expense of the economic operational approach resulting in a waste of financial resources, a strengthening of the rentier dynamics and blocking of any transfer of technology.
Because of the essential blocking of local and foreign investment being a bureaucratic machine that feeds on the lack of visibility and coherence in the overall reform this situation would require an approach with a comprehensive reform whereas lack of political consensus and neutralization of the balance of power has never addressed a clear way of the future role of the State in the face of both internal and international changes.
Indeed, the future stakes are essentially economic and as in all countries in transition the Algerian society is naturally facing two trends, with in the a majority “the swamp” in the middle not understanding the issues that are anticipated between 2017 and 2030 in essentially economic, between adverse actors and stakeholders favouring reforms where the importance of records eminently political as that of hydrocarbons, the production place of the rent, of the financial system, place of distribution of the rent, and that of the partnership-privatisation, coupled with that of a socio-educational system, rather than the production of added-value that skills will create new social forces either backward if we are moving towards a new private monopoly or carriers of progress if we set a total transparency for a truly competitive market economy.
Hence the rentier tendency to managing the reforms according to a vision bureaucratic as of administrative injunctions based on administrative relays – the office, necessary in any society, but in contrast to developed countries analyzed by Max Weber, a factor blocking that attends the blocking of useful investment for more than 60%.
What conclusion for the action of the Government?
Reconciling economic efficiency and a deep social justice in the context of an open economy, control of the time being the main challenge for Governments in the 21st century would at the end of the day constitute the real challenge of Algeria between 2017, 2020 and 2030.
It is clear that at the time when big businesses and SMIs/SMEs are organized into networks corresponding to a historic phase where the enterprise tends to focus on its core business by outsourcing a good number of secondary activities, and the manufacturing industry experiencing a crisis rarely matched globally, it is necessary to avoid theoretical experiments with huge costs for the country which can only lead to an impasse for lack of strategic vision.
It is the result of the new configuration of the international labour division, product of the evolution of the development of capitalism, an unfinished globalization historical process with the new technological ecological challenge. Knowledge within the stability of the political environment, economic and social determinants according to international reports, would be a decisive factor in the development of Nations in the 21st century with good governance.
Any operational analysis would have to connect the process of technology transfer to both the new changes at the global level, in front of a profound change in geopolitical, socio-economic, managerial and technological at horizon 2017/2020/2030 as a future policy of the Government tossed between two social forces: the rentier logic supported by proponents of import, the unfortunately dominant informal sphere and the entrepreneurial logic.
In fact technology transfer should not be limited to the technical aspects only but to the organization of society in general on a par with both internal and global changes. The passage of the status of ‘support against the pension’ to the rule of law “based on work and intelligence” is a major political gamble since it simply involves a new social contract and a new political contract between the Nation and the State. email@example.com
(1) Three audits under the direction of Dr Abderrahmane Mebtoul for the Government including the observation and operational resolutions were conducted comprising:
Study carried out and assisted by officials from the Department of Energy, senior executives of SONATRACH and Ernst Young titled “For a policy of fuels including a policy of subsidies targeted in a competitive market.”
6 Leadership Lessons From World Champion Steve Kerr is an enlightening essay written by John Eades, Author, podcaster and CEO of LearnLoft @johngeades. It goes on like this:
There are leaders, then there are great leaders. When you experience a great leader in everyday life, it’s a different experience.
Enter Steve Kerr, head coach of the 2017 NBA World Champion Golden State Warriors. His team battled the Cleveland Cavaliers, led by LeBron James, and beat them 4 games to 1. Not only did he win his second NBA championship as a coach, but he also holds the highest winning percentage in NBA history and was previously named coach of the year. Here are a just a few takeaways we can learn from Kerr’s leadership style:
It’s not about the leader
A few years ago when the Warriors won their first NBA championship since 1975, Kerr almost refused the microphone and trophy after winning. He did the same thing again in 2017 but when he did finally speak he used all of his time to give praise to his other coaches, players, and team ownership.
He knows he is just a spoke in the wheel, and it’s his job to push those around him to levels they didn’t even know they were capable of, without wanting any credit.
Talent matters but it’s your job to enhance it
Kerr has been blessed with some of the greatest talent the NBA has ever seen. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Clay Thompson and Draymond Green are elite-level players that any coach would love to have. Kerr has been quoted as saying, “Everyone who gets into coaching in the NBA knows it’s all about the talent.”
While it’s impossible to win titles in the NBA without talent, it isn’t a guarantee for success unless those players are getting better year in and year out. Kerr has made nearly every player he has ever coached not only a better basketball player, but a better human being.
Trust your team
News broke that Kerr was stepping away from coaching the team in the NBA playoffs because of nagging pain from back and neck surgery. Kerr stated he wouldn’t return to the bench until he was fully capable of giving the team 100 percent. There is nothing worse than a leader who doesn’t trust their team to do the job in their absence. It’s a sign of an unhealthy ego and micromanagement.
Kerr showed the ultimate trust in assistance coach Mike Brown and his players by stepping away during the most critical time in the season, and it created a stronger bond of mutual trust between the parties.
Always look for new ways to add value
While Kerr was absent from games, he didn’t stay away from the team entirely. He was an active participant in practices, game plans, and strategy to help his team be prepared as best as possible when they stepped on the floor without him.
Know your core values
Kerr is famous for being a student of leadership and always working on his craft as a coach. One offseason he went to see Pete Carroll the Seattle Seahawks head coach and Carroll taught him an important lesson: “Your leadership approach has to reflect your identity.”
After that meeting, Kerr identified ‘joy’ as a core value he had to lead with all the time. Knowing your core values is a critical part in finding your authentic leadership voice.
Empowerment is key
Kerr has built a culture of empowerment with the Warriors. So much so star Draymond Green said:
“So he [Kerr] built a culture to where, one man down, the next man has to step up. And it’s not just on him, it’s on everybody to come together and empower that next man and have his back through whatever the situation is, and ride for him just like you’d ride for coach Kerr.”
PUBLISHED ON: JUN 9, 2017 on INC.COM – The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.
We took the initiative with compliments to this gentleman, to borrow few excerpts so as to hopefully launch a debate on this report. This started with the premise that :
“The 22 Arab nations spread across two continents, Asia and Africa, have to pull together in a historic movement to declare a shared manifesto that focuses on a unified destiny.
The solution for the region’s problems, as the Arab Youth Survey sees it, must come from within this region, and not from the US, Russia, Europe or even the United Nations.“
Elaborating, ASDA’A BursonMarsteller stated that its 9th Annual Arab Youth Survey 2017 was conducted by international polling firm PSB Research to explore attitudes among Arab youth in 16 countries in the Middle East and North Africa. PSB conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews from February 7 to March 7, 2017 with Arab men and women aged 18 to 24. The interviews were conducted in Arabic and English.
The aim of this annual survey is to present evidence-based insights into the attitudes of Arab youth, providing public and private sector organisations with data and analysis. It is the largest of its kind of the region’s ‘largest demographic’, and covers the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The survey did not include Syria due to the civil unrest in the country.
The key theme running through this Youth Survey 2017 is a sobering one: we live in a region where young people straddle a fault line between hope and despair. A vast, important demographic that is united by religion, language and culture is increasingly separated by access to opportunity. Even today, given the conflicts, security issues and unemployment which sadly mark much of the region, the overall finding looks surprisingly positive: just over half of young Arabs as a whole still believe their nation is on the right track.
Looking at the Survey on a region-by-region, or country-by-country level, however, we see a stark divide between youth in the Gulf states, who are brimming with optimism, and those in the Levant – Lebanon, Jordan, Palestinian Territories, Iraq – and Yemen, who are anxious and disillusioned about the future. The real tragedy of this year’s key findings is that young Arabs are becoming more pessimistic.
“Our best days are behind us” is not a phrase any government should hear from anyone, least of all the very demographic that will be living with the legacy of their rule.
It would be easy to dismiss this divide as the result of the widening income gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ – those that have oil, and the prosperity that should come with it and those that don’t.
Young Arabs realise that while their elders played the victim game and sought intervention and protection from foreign allies, that strategy no longer cuts ice. The world is becoming increasingly inward-looking and globalisation is being challenged:
According to this year’s Survey, young Arabs do not see the US, Russia or other international powers as their biggest allies, but Saudi Arabia and the UAE. And they increasingly see the UAE as a model country – one that they would not only choose to live in over any other, but also want their own countries to emulate.
This suggests a solution: that good governance could be the UAE’s newest export. The soft power of the UAE is one of the Middle East’s greatest assets – and one that doesn’t just enrich the UAE but the whole region, through the promotion of stability and prosperity.
National and international complexities mean that a one-size-fits-all model would be unrealistic. But some aspects of the UAE model are universal: empowering youth, and focusing on enabling positivity, happiness and tolerance – increasingly in short supply across the region – would be a strong start.
The Arab Spring of 2011 is behind us, and last year’s Survey showed us youth were increasingly disillusioned with its legacy. But revolutions can take a long time for their full effects to become apparent. For better and for worse, the region is very different today than it was six years ago. It’s easy to concentrate on the ‘worse’ – the conflicts in Yemen, Syria and Libya, the refugee crisis and continued instability in Iraq, to name just a few. For better, though, we see that nations are waking up to the new reality and finally preparing their economies for the future. In Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar we see younger generations taking more prominent roles in government; in Egypt we are seeing the return of a measure of economic and political stability; in Iraq and Syria we see Daesh in retreat; in North Africa, outside of Libya, we see relative stability; and across the region we see young people increasingly rejecting the message of extremism.
Twelve years ago, long before the Arab Spring provided a wake-up call to autocratic regimes, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, sent a clear message to Arab governments: “You must change, or you will be changed.”
So what is the solution?
The 28th Arab League Summit, held in Jordan in March this year, pontificated for the nth time on the same issues, and came out with no solution. While it may sound utopian, the only real solution that has the chance to offer a candle in the sea of darkness is one led by the spirit of youth and the courage to be positive.
We in MENA-Forum accept all the report’s findings as a true picture of the current situation. For a start we would join in applauding such initiative to try and cover such a diversely endowed region by nature and millenary culture. We would nevertheless have to note that misunderstanding is however still prevailing sadly in most of its hot spots where it would certainly be difficult to extricate a happy opening for each and every side to be happy with.
It is notoriously known that all countries of the MENA region have deficiencies with respect to freedom generally. This situation is perhaps made worse in the GCC countries as elaborated on in the following proposed article although the 2011 Arab Spring in certain republics of the MENA has born fruits as shown in the performance of Tunisia as compared to its neighbouring states. The Freedom in countries of the MENA and in the world that could nevertheless be considered to be in some democratic transition whilst being still marked by severe abuses of almost all fundamental political rights and civil liberties have been undeniably and accurately jotted down as such in this Report of the Freedom House.
Excerpts of this Report are reproduced here.
With populist and nationalist forces making significant gains in democratic states, 2016 marked the 11th consecutive year of decline in global freedom.
There were setbacks in political rights, civil liberties, or both, in a number of countries rated “Free” by the report, including Brazil, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Hungary, Poland, Serbia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Tunisia, and the United States.
Of the 195 countries assessed, 87 (45 percent) were rated Free, 59 (30 percent) Partly Free, and 49 (25 percent) Not Free.
The Middle East and North Africa region had the worst ratings in the world in 2016, followed closely by Eurasia.
Populists and Autocrats: The Dual Threat to Global Democracy
By Arch Puddington and Tyler Roylance
In 2016, populist and nationalist political forces made astonishing gains in democratic states, while authoritarian powers engaged in brazen acts of aggression, and grave atrocities went unanswered in war zones across two continents.
All of these developments point to a growing danger that the international order of the past quarter-century—rooted in the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law—will give way to a world in which individual leaders and nations pursue their own narrow interests without meaningful constraints, and without regard for the shared benefits of global peace, freedom, and prosperity.
The troubling impression created by the year’s headline events is supported by the latest findings of Freedom in the World. A total of 67 countries suffered net declines in political rights and civil liberties in 2016, compared with 36 that registered gains. This marked the 11th consecutive year in which declines outnumbered improvements.
While in past years the declines in freedom were generally concentrated among autocracies and dictatorships that simply went from bad to worse, in 2016 it was established democracies—countries rated Free in the report’s ranking system—that dominated the list of countries suffering setbacks. In fact, Free countries accounted for a larger share of the countries with declines than at any time in the past decade, and nearly one-quarter of the countries registering declines in 2016 were in Europe.
Worst of the Worst
Of the 49 countries designated as Not Free, the following 11 have the worst aggregate scores for political rights and civil liberties.
Aggregate Score (out of 100)
Central African Republic
Middle East and North Africa: The open wounds of civil conflict
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has long been one of the world’s two worst-performing regions. In 2016, it demonstrated the depths to which human freedom can fall after decades of authoritarian misrule, corruption, and erratic foreign interventions.
Libya was further plagued by political and security crises during the year. Despite a UN-brokered political agreement and the formation of a presidential council, the country’s governance remained crippled by the existence of multiple, competing state authorities, autonomous militias, and the presence of IS fighters opposed to all sides. The humanitarian situation and conditions for human rights have worsened as a result of insecurity and widespread impunity, and prospects for improvement are dim.
The war in Yemen continued to devastate what was already the poorest country in the region. The Houthi rebels occupying the capital and most of the north sought to form their own government given the failure of peace talks with the recognized government, which holds territory in the south. In the process they have made no guarantee that they will restore the country’s past political pluralism. Media independence has been all but eliminated as a result of the conflict, and civil liberties in general have effectively been suspended.
Syria remained the world’s least free country. Most of those living behind the front lines were governed by a dictatorship, IS extremists, or Kurdish militants, and many others were trapped in the middle of appalling violence. The humanitarian crisis reached a nadir toward the end of the year as regime forces bombarded and finally recaptured eastern Aleppo from rebel militias.
Corruption is perceived differently in the MENA region countries but is, as it were used differently across these countries. For instance, as per the latest on corruption in the MENA region and in the world report by Berlin-based Transparency International, the Golf monarchies seem to be least affected by this scourge if compared to the so-called republics. All countries are ranked according to their levels of public sector corruption on the basis of around a dozen world institutions such as the World Bank, the IMF, etc.
The highest scorers of the MENA in 2016 are as expected member states of the GCC countries with Qatar and the UAE as top notch.
The report found that low ranking countries usually have some sort of cause to effect relationship between corruption and inequality. It said these factors lead to unequal power and wealth distribution as contrary to general belief is most found in the republics part of the MENA.
Conversely, it highlighted that countries with higher rankings tend to have “higher degrees of press freedom, access to information about public expenditure, stronger standards of integrity for public officials and independent judicial systems.”
The report urged leaders to improve their standing by protecting freedom of expression and that governments should “stop persecuting anti-corruption activists, whistle-blowers, and civil society organizations.”
Corruption as defined by Transparency International – the abuse of entrusted power for private gain – is wrong. It destroys the basic rights of hundreds of millions of people across the world, it has devastating consequences on the services provided by public institutions and it undermines the prospect for a better life for future generations.
Despite the political changes that shook the Arab region six years ago, the hope for Arab countries to fight corruption and end impunity has not seen any progress yet. On the contrary, the majority of Arab countries have failed to fulfill the will of the people to build democratic systems allowing for greater transparency and accountability.
The failure to fight corruption explains the sharp drop of most of Arab countries in the Corruption Perceptions Index 2016. 90 percent of these have scored below 50, which is a failing grade. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar have managed to remain above the average, in spite of their declined scores.
Five out of the ten most corrupt countries in the world are from the region: Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Yemen and Syria. These countries are also inflicted with political instability, war, internal conflicts and terrorism, stressing the fact that war and conflict fuel corruption and in particular political corruption.
Tunisia is one of the very few countries that slightly improved on the index. The country took some serious anti-corruption steps last year such as passing the Access to Information law, one of the most progressive laws in the region, and adopting a national anti-corruption strategy. In addition, the Anti-Corruption Agency has been empowered to do its job, and there is a good space for civil society to play a role in accountability. The parliament also adopted a Financial Court law, which allows the court to investigate Grand Corruption cases.
Yet Tunisia has still a long road ahead in its fight against corruption. Laws on whistleblower protection, conflict of interests and illicit enrichment policies remain missing. The Tunisian judicial system should also move forward in pending corruption cases, especially those that are ongoing since the revolution six years ago.
Gulf States have dropped on the index, as ruling families continue to hold power politically and economically, public freedoms are oppressed, and an active independent civil society is absent. The military involvement of these states in regional coalitions has raised the levels of secrecy and ambiguity of public expenditure and state budgets.
Qatar had the sharpest decline in the overall index this year by 10 points. The country has been implicated with FIFA corruption scandals, especially around the votes to host the 2022 World Cup, in addition to human rights violations of migrant workers.
Jordan also dropped below 50 compared with last year, despite the adoption of a new electoral law and integrity law, thus failing to reflect the true efforts of change. Many corruption cases were investigated, but no prosecution has taken place yet. Many reports have shown that investment is also hindered in the country as government fails to address petty forms of corruption such as bribery and nepotism.
In order for Arab countries to improve, they must ensure effective transparent systems that allow for accountability are in place. They must put an end to political corruption in all its forms. Governments should protect freedom of expression and stop persecuting anti-corruption activists, whistleblowers, and civil society organisations. The independence of the judiciary, as well as auditing bodies, must be respected to ensure that the corrupt are prosecuted and stolen assets are returned. All of this cannot be achieved without real and serious political will from governments to follow up on their commitments.
Face aux multiples défis économiques, sociétaux, environnementaux, nous aurons besoin de nouveaux leaders. Gerald Karsenti explique en quoi ces derniers seront différents.
Plongés au cœur de la 4ème révolution industrielle, avec des startups bousculant l’ordre établi dans tous les secteurs d’activités, nous avons tous un devoir de remise en cause.
Face à la déferlante d’innovations, entreprises et gouvernements doivent s’adapter. Des leaders d’un nouveau genre émergent peu à peu pour accompagner ces mutations profondes. Je les ai appelés les “leaders du troisième type”.
En quoi sont-ils différents de leurs prédécesseurs ?
Avant toute autre chose, ils ne sont plus narcissiques, du moins pas dans la forme dominante. Les leaders aux commandes un peu partout depuis des décennies présentent certes des qualités indéniables qui font d’eux de prime abord des leaders naturels, mais leur égo bien souvent démesuré et non maîtrisé les amène presque toujours à sombrer tôt ou tard dans l’excès.
Le monde d’aujourd’hui n’est plus adapté pour ce type de profil. La caractéristique narcissique ne doit pas pour autant disparaître, elle doit être complétée par d’autres attributs pour former un ensemble plus équilibré.
Un leader “du troisième type”
Le leader de demain – du troisième type – sera donc différent. Aux qualités que l’on retrouve chez tous les narcissiques dominants, comme la capacité à définir une vision, le courage ou la persévérance, vont s’ajouter des attributs supplémentaires que nous pouvons regrouper en sept catégories :
– Une approche créative, en créant un environnement propice à l’innovation, en misant sur l’intelligence émotionnelle et la curiosité.
– Une exemplarité irréprochable, en devenant source d’inspiration et valeur d’exemple pour les autres.
– Une certaine dose d’humilité, en étant accessible, empathique, à l’écoute des autres.
– Un véritable esprit collaboratif, en créant une réelle cohésion entre les équipes et en rassemblant les talents autour de projets collectifs.
– Une capacité à déléguer, en faisant confiance, en sachant s’entourer.
– Une aptitude à donner du sens, en répondant à la question fondamentale du “pourquoi”.
– Une démarche centrée sur les clients et l’humain, en redonnant corps à ce qui est vraiment fondamental.
In fine, le leader de demain possède plusieurs formes d’intelligence. Il sait gérer son égo, n’est pas centré sur lui-même et porte un projet collectif et inspirant, car porteur de sens. Il est à l’écoute des autres. Il sait qu’il ne sait rien ! Il a besoin des autres et de leurs compétences.
Sans âge ni sexe
Sa devise pourrait être : “pour réussir il faut disposer des bons talents aux bons postes pour accomplir les bonnes actions aux bons moments”.
Il intègre la diversité sous toutes ces formes et fait de la parité un objectif primordial. Il est digital par nature et porte une responsabilité sociétale. Agile, il prend le meilleur des deux mondes, il garde les bons côtés du narcissisme et se dote de nouveaux attributs pour devenir… un leader augmenté.
Les leaders du troisième type n’ont pas d’âge. Il peut s’agir de fondateurs de startups d’à peine la trente ans, ou de dirigeants plus aguerris.
Les leaders du troisième type sont aussi bien féminins que masculins, les femmes trouvant dans ce monde fondé sur la créativité un espace plus équitable.
Les leaders du troisième type ne sont pas parfaits. Ils sont juste différents, porteurs d’une autre démarche, tournés vers le futur.
Et bonne nouvelle, tout le monde est potentiellement capable de devenir par étape un leader du troisième type et de partager ainsi… une part de rêve !
A propos de l’auteur
*Gerald Karsenti est l’auteur de plusieurs ouvrages, dont le dernier publié “Leaders du 3ème type : Pour redonner du sens à notre engagement”, aux éditions Eyrolles. Cette tribune en est inspirée. Vice-président en charge des ventes pour la région Europe, Moyen-Orient et Afrique au sein de Hewlett Packard Enterprise et président de la filiale française, il est également professeur affilié à HEC Paris depuis dix ans et anime un blog.
30 years after Thatcher’s passage in Downing Street, we are still brawling at the ensuing consequences of her deregulating all systems of controls, especially those of the London finance square mile neighbourhood. The paroxysm was reached when the International Labour Organisation in its Global Wage Report 2016/17 announced that CEO’s earns 130 times the average salary.
The MENA region then and above all the GCC side of it have just started to waken to the Dolce Vita of a barrel of oil price exceeding anything known before. It is a well known fact that the conditions of work in the MENA are generally far from being ideal but the following article of Stefan Stern, Director, High Pay Centre, a London-based think-tank illustrates well what is happening these days, in the world at large, i.e. increasing earnings disparities between top and bottom of social ladder as well as across the work environment wide range spectrum. Here it is and the original document is reached by clicking the title of the article below.
Now hear this: this is your President-elect speaking. “It’s disgraceful…you see these guys [CEOs] making enormous amounts of money. It’s a total and complete joke,” Donald Trump told CBS News in September 2015. The future President ran successfully, in part by denouncing the status quo in big business, decrying inequality, and promising a better America with jobs for all, an America that would be great again.
And during the UK’s June 2016 referendum on EU membership, the Leave campaign also attacked so-called “fat cats” and those corporate interests who argued for staying inside the EU. Bankers and business leaders were portrayed as the enemy, extracting excessive rewards for their work while ordinary people suffered. The Leave campaign made their appeal sound like a bid for greater economic justice.
We will find out in the coming months and years whether these appeals to voters were more than campaign rhetoric. But we should be in no doubt: business is vulnerable to the charge that the gap in pay between those at the top and the rest has grown too large. This attack has potency. It can shift voter sentiment and determine the results of important elections.
A recent study from the ILO, the Global Wage Report, found that the top 10% of highest paid workers in Europe together earn almost as much as the bottom 50%. “The payment of extremely high wages by a few enterprises to a few individuals leads to a ‘pyramid’ of highly unequally distributed wages,” the report said. Figures from the FTSE100 index of companies reveal a similar story. Whereas 20 years ago the average CEO was getting around 45 times the pay of the average worker in the business, today that ratio is around 130 times.
That might be reason enough for the remuneration committees of big corporations to reflect on how effectively they are working to restrain excess at the top. But it is not just the cry of populists which should concern them. Prof Michael Sandel of Harvard University warns against what he calls “meritocratic hubris” which, he says, is “morally corrosive”. “The belief that the system rewards talent and hard work encourages the winners to regard their success as their own doing, a measure of their virtue – and to look down on the less fortunate,” he wrote in The Observer in December. To the losers in this system, the so-called meritocracy looks more like “a ladder whose rungs are growing further and further apart”.
It is sometimes argued that huge pay at the top is inevitable. Globalisation, competition and technological change have made leadership roles far more important. There is a “war for talent”, and only a few exceptional people are capable of becoming a CEO. There is great demand and limited supply. Of course pay has shot up.
It’s always been tough at the top
But these arguments are largely self-serving, and do not survive much scrutiny. Business has always been international, and there has always been technological change. It has never been easy to be a CEO. The history of the 20th century, with two world wars, hyperinflation, financial crises, the Cold War and the oil price shock, was hardy a period of benign stability.
The size of a corporation alone does not justify a massive CEO pay package. As Sir Philip Hampton, former chairman of Sainsburys and RBS and now chair at GlaxoSmithKline, has pointed out, arguably the bigger a corporation is the less credit should go to the boss. There is a vast array of senior executives and corporate infrastructure in place to support the business. In any case, good corporate governance requires all significant decisions to be taken by a team of people and not by an individual CEO on his or her own. Why in this case should a CEO receive such a disproportionate share of the rewards on offer?
The mandatory publication of the pay ratio between the top and the median worker in the business will help shine some light on pay gaps. Under the Dodd-Frank legislation in the US pay ratios are finally coming, to be followed perhaps in the UK once a current consultation process is concluded. This greater transparency will help apply some pressure on boards to exercise restraint.
The decline of trade unions seems also to have coincided with the steeper rises in executive pay at the top. Reintroducing the voice of employees, via elected representatives, in remuneration committees might also help “ground” the conversation in reality. And of course shareholders could do more to urge restraint. Many have been too passive for too long.
The limits of legislation
But ultimately legislation can only do so much. Out-of-control pay at the top is a systemic, cultural problem. It requires all participants to change their behaviour. And those changes will be more effective and long-lasting if people choose to act differently, rather than being forced to do so.
The gap could be closed by increasing pay lower down the income scale. But the ILO’s wages report reveals that there are no easy or painless solutions to closing the inequality gap. As the report’s author, Patrick Belser, told The Guardian: “In Europe, inequality within enterprises accounts for almost half of wage inequality,” he said. “That tells you just having minimum wages is not going to solve wage inequality.”
“Responsive and responsible leadership,” the theme of Davos 2017, must mean taking effective action on damaging income (and wealth) inequality. This will require fresh thinking, but also, perhaps, taking another look at some older ideas that have gone out of fashion in the past 30 years.
According to Ryan Avent, a writer for The Economist and author of The Wealth of Humans: Work and its Absence in the Twenty-First Century, “In a world in which technology makes employment more precarious and less remunerative for many workers, redistribution will need to become much more generous and ubiquitous.”
As President-elect Trump enters the White House, and the UK government prepares to start its negotiations to leave the EU, CEOs need to reflect on what they can do not only to help their businesses succeed, but to strengthen the societies in which they operate.
Written by Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum and Regular Author and published on Monday 2 January 2017 is this article that is as it were a reminder of the leadership fragility with respect to be able to foresee the future of a society, country or organisation of any significance. Dr A. Mebtoul disserted at length on the subject and his last contribution that was on Morality of Leaders as factor of stability concerned as per the title of his essay on Algeria’s leaders morality of rather the now obvious lack of it. Leadership priorities in year 2017would naturally at this conjecture be on everyone’s mind, especially of those in the MENA region.
As the past year has demonstrated, leaders must be responsive to the demands of the people who have entrusted them to lead, while also providing a vision and a way forward, so that people can imagine a better future.
True leadership in a complex, uncertain, and anxious world requires leaders to navigate with both a radar system and a compass. They must be receptive to signals that are constantly arriving from an ever-changing landscape, and they should be willing to make necessary adjustments; but they must never deviate from their true north, which is to say, a strong vision based on authentic values.
That is why the World Economic Forum has made Responsive and Responsible Leadership the theme for our annual January meeting in Davos. As leaders in government, business, and civil society chart a course for the next year, five key challenges will warrant their attention.
Firstly, they will have to come to grips with the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is redefining entire industries, and creating new ones from scratch, owing to ground-breaking advances in artificial intelligence, robotics, the Internet of Things, self-driving vehicles, 3D-printing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, and quantum computing.
These technologies have only begun to show their full potential; in 2017, we will increasingly see what used to be science fiction become reality. But, while the Fourth Industrial Revolution could help us solve some of our most pressing problems, it is also dividing societies into those who embrace change and those who do not. And that threatens our well-being in ways that will have to be identified and addressed.
Secondly, leaders will have to build a dynamic, inclusive multi-stakeholder global-governance system. Todays’s economic, technological, environmental, and social challenges can be addressed only through global public-private collaboration; but our current framework for international cooperation was designed for the post-war era, when nation-states were the key actors.
At the same time, geopolitical shifts have made today’s world truly multi-polar. As new global players bring new ideas about how to shape national systems and the international order, the existing order is becoming more fragile. So long as countries interact on the basis of shared interests, rather than shared values, the extent to which they will be able to cooperate will be limited. Moreover, non-state actors are now capable of disrupting national and global systems, not least through cyber-attacks. To withstand this threat, countries cannot simply close themselves off. The only way forward is to make sure that globalization is benefiting everyone.
A third challenge for leaders will be to restore global economic growth. Permanently diminished growth translates into permanently lower living standards: with 5% annual growth, it takes just 14 years to double a country’s GDP; with 3% growth, it takes 24 years. If our current stagnation persists, our children and grandchildren might be worse off than their predecessors.
Even without today’s technologically driven structural unemployment, the global economy would have to create billions of jobs to accommodate a growing population, which is forecast to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, from 7.4 billion today. Thus, 2017 will be a year in which social inclusion and youth unemployment become critical global and national issues.
A fourth challenge will be to reform market capitalism, and to restore the compact between business and society. Free markets and globalization have improved living standards and lifted people out of poverty for decades. But their structural flaws – myopic short-termism, increasing wealth inequality, and cronyism – have fueled the political backlash of recent years, in turn highlighting the need to create permanent structures for balancing economic incentives with social wellbeing.
Finally, leaders will need to address the pervasive crisis in identity formation that has resulted from the erosion of traditional norms over the past two decades. Globalization has made the world smaller but more complex, and many people have lost confidence in institutions. Many people now fear for their future, and they are searching for shared but distinct beliefs that can furnish a sense of purpose and continuity.
Identity formation is not a rational process; it is deeply emotional and often characterized by high levels of anxiety, dissatisfaction, and anger. Politics is also driven by emotion: leaders attract votes not by addressing needs or presenting long-term visions, but rather by offering a sense of belonging, nostalgia for simpler times, or a return to national roots. We witnessed this in 2016, as populists made gains by fostering reactionary and extreme beliefs. Responsible leaders, for their part, must recognize people’s fears and anger as legitimate, while providing inspiration and constructive plans for building a better future.
But how? The world today seems to be engulfed in a sea of pessimism, negativity, and cynicism. And yet, we have an opportunity to lift millions more people out of poverty, so that they can lead healthier and more meaningful lives. And we have a duty to work together toward a greener, more inclusive, and peaceful world. Whether we succeed will not depend on some external event, but rather on the choices our leaders make.
The coming year will be a critical test for all stakeholders in global society. More than ever, we will need responsive and responsible leadership to address our collective challenges, and to restore people’s trust in institutions and in one another. We do not lack the means to make the world a better place. But to do so, we must look past our own narrow interests and attend to the interests of our global society.
That duty begins with our leaders, who must begin to engage in open dialogue and a common search for solutions to the five major challenges on the horizon. If they acknowledge that ours is a global community with a shared destiny, they will have made a first – albeit modest – step in the right direction.
View on Davos – WEF ‘How to follow Davos 2017’ Photo
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Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.