Saturday, January 31, 2009

What was old becomes new again, and better.

I especially like writer and professor Don Tapscott. Mr. Tapscott co-authored one of my all-time favorite books, "Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything".

What I did not know until I Wikipedia'd up Mr. Tapscott is that he is also an Adjunct Professor of Management at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto. I love the vision coming out of that school, led by someone I've written about earlier with great admiration, Roger Martin.

To the point: Mr. Tapscott is blogging from Davos for Business Week, and one of his posts this week really caught my eye.

We focus on a presentation by the Founder of the World Economic Forum held yearly in Davos, Switzerland, Klaus Schwab.

From Don Tapscott: " Klaus Schwab’s address to the 2009 Annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos is such a powerful document, in my view it could be the starting point for new modus operandi for the planet. As such, I’ve called it The Schwab Manifesto..."

"Schwab argues that we need to rebuild the global economy, not only based on more liquidity in the system, but also the fundamental pillars of honesty, transparency and predictability. He says we need to look at our world in a holistic, systemic way, remembering the global economy, the environment, political strife, social justice and other issues are all interconnected."

The 'Schwab Manifesto' as Mr Tapscott names it, involves 5 key points, highlighted below. The full doc is linked at the end.

The first objective is to support world governments, beginning with the G20.

"What we need now is not only to look back and conduct a thorough assessment of the systems failures and the mistakes we made but, more importantly, to look forward and mobilize all people with one mission in mind: to rebuild trust not only based on more liquidity in the system but also based on the fundamental pillars of honesty, transparency and predictability."

The second objective is to take a wholistic approach to economic development.

The third objective is to deal with global problems in a proactive way. This approach has never been more needed. A proactive vision for tomorrow requires wholistic economic development - development that reaches out to help every person and every solutions-providing organization become more economically independent. In difficult times it is easier to become reactive. Solutions don't live there. Solutions and development come from proactive steps taken with the betterment of all in mind.

Objective four, quoted directly: "The fourth objective of this Annual Meeting is to better shape the ethical value base for business, highlighting a clear differentiation between industrial and service companies that provide true value to society and those that make money through paper transactions and speculation."

"The moral reformation – not only of business but of society at large – cannot result from just the revival of fundamental principles such as solidarity or modesty. What we really need is to reflect on how we want the world to be in 10, 20 and 30 years. Over half of the people on earth are under 25 years old. How should they live when they are our age? Shaping the post-crisis world means, above all, to incorporate ecological, global and inter-generational accountability and responsibility into everything we are undertaking, individually and collectively."

Objective five. Reconstruct the global economy.

For objective 5 I'll circle back and pull a quote from one of the earlier objectives… "Entrepreneurship remains the key driver of wealth generation and the market economy is a fundamental pillar of a free and democratic society, but the market forces have to be embedded into an enhanced and globally better coordinated regulatory framework."

For entrepreneurs, this return to transparency, accountability and service to a greater good is exactly what will work to your benefit. Anyone with those approaches can successfully participate in enterprise and markets. The 'stuff' of entrepreneurship can be taught. However, the values above must be engrained and honored for real economic development to happen at the personal level for the largest number of humans on the planet.

The fact that this direction is coming out of Davos is remarkable. A call for this level of commitment to enterprise values our grandparents would love is truly hopeful. And this time around, we have transformative, empowering enterprise tools available to most of humanity that didn't even exist a couple of decades ago.

As the world turns, what was old becomes new again, and better.

Business week article with Don Tapscott's blog

Wikipedia Klaus Schwab and Davos

Wikipedia Don Tapscott

Excellent interview with Don Tapscott done by Google CEO Eric Schmit . Thanks to blogger Derek Wenmoth for this link. Derek is the Director of eLearning CORE Education Ltd, a not-for-profit educational research and development organization based in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Dean Roger Martin ("Quantifying the now and intuiting what's next.") and The Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto. blog link


Unknown said...

Hi Rick,
Thank you so much for summarizing this. I love the way you're bringing up new paradigms.

I work with the authors of a new WSJ bestseller called Three Laws of Performance. It's all about how any performance is really rooted in language and how we can shift it.

I'd be happy to send you an excerpt.


Rick Terrien said...

Hi Robert,

Thanks for the good words!

I'd love to see an excerpt. The site for the book and the reviews look fascinating.