Friday, January 20, 2006

New leaderships profile in global society

Perhaps as a unintended consequence of globalization ,new leaderships are arising beyond what has been usual .Chile has a new President, but this time it is a woman, Bolivia has a new President, but this time it is an Aymara Leader, Argentina had a new President ,but this time it came from the south of the country far away from the Capital ,the center of political power. Brazil had a new President, but this time it came from the labor sector. What does all of this means ?. Under the global scrutiny done for global media, every one has the chance to participate ,and nobody is excluded from the main stage. . It seems like Global society is more inclusive, and also more diversify on topics to focus the attention on. The implications of this, is that in the future we will probably have more of these developments. Anyway ,sociologist can give a better answer to what the economists have created.-

Let take a brief looks to the isssue.Women has been discriminated in many countries ,even advanced ones,for a lot of years. The new economy and the information society, has created new opportunities for them. For instance, some of the new internet oriented business, have women on top of its management models. Global news media, has projected women into our homes throughout Global TV news, talks shows, and the likes ,in such a way ,that has allowed us to realized hers capabilities for analysis and communication skills. Financial services, also has provided new chances for women to get on top. In Spain, a woman is on the top of the most important Banks.As a result, there is a different perception of her potential contribution in global society, fostering public opinion to give them support .Today, women are well evaluated in opinion polls, concerning topics such as leaderships .-

Ethnicity is also a new ingredient in global affairs .However, from the historical perspective, this is rather a matter of justice. The Peace Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Manchu, in the beginning of the nineties, focused a more active attention on minorities ethnic groups, which for many years were on a secondary place of the daily debate . Movies ,have also done an interesting job on changing that. Thus, when Latin America celebrated in 1992 , the five hundred years of Christopher Columbus discovery of these lands , the concept underlying such a celebration ,was the encounter of two civilizations, rather than the surrender of one to another. From then on, ethnics minority become a central issue for developments specially because a high proportion of poverty is concentrated on those sectors .-

Firms has also become a more democratic place for work. Knowledge is in all decisions levels throughout computer network , such as today it is an asset to take advantage on. Because of his experience, Workers are the owner of such Knowledge, which is the new production means firms needs to get profits from. So , Workers are not excluded , They are part of firms` decisions , of course keeping in mind the firm` s right to make the better decisions. Today s` workers are no longer the undesired guest .There is the perception that it can be a partner to support both rational policies and decisions .-

Finally, the real issue it might be centralization opposite to decentralization of power to new actors . That is what matter in all this process of new leaderships .Global society is more democratic than expected and the traditional elites have the burden of so many years of exclusions ,that a better informed public opinion wants to try new path. The essential, is to understand that , world has become more diversify with wider space for different views, perceptions and impressions. So , in the beginning of the twenty one century , Welcome global society!. What are the risks?. Give time a chance..

PD : Today I begin my vactions.So ,I will keep in touch with this blog but with a different timing.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Knowledge:The new asset for firm profits

In the traditional firms, the so called “Taylor style firm”, it is usual to focus on productivity level based on the physical capacities of its employees, which means how much it is produced per hour of work. According to this view, it is necessary to have a structure which rely heavily on the ability to control each task, with close supervision on it.(The “X” and “Y” Theory ,following Mc Gregor `s works) ).The expected result of higher productivity, depends on each worker doing what he is paid for. So, no new ideas on his own, no innovation unless it is required by executives levels, no need for communication skills to coordinate process in a better way. In other words, just do it approach, with no questions in between. The result for firms ? : To loose an important share of the productive potential of its human resources ,as much as it does not consider those abilities related to knowledge.. Fortunately, this model of business is moving out. This does not means that there is no more Taylor management style , but it means the trend is orientated to a more inclusive firms, with flatter structures related to the market (consumers) needs . If we take a look to what has happened since the eighties in the automobile industry, it is clearly a phenomenon related to this new paradigm: marketing, quality and innovation are on the front line for management decisions.
A lot of firms still orientated to production, are facing tough times because the markets is moving in a different directions and that implies new management models.. In a recent report, The New York Times ( ,Is There a Future in Ford's Future?, January 8,2006), said :“Just five years ago, the talk in Detroit was about whether Ford could eventually outsell G.M. Now the talk is about which of these two companies is worse off . In the same line of argument, a famous story in the management books is the one of IBM. This multinational thought for some time, that the key element in markets decisions ,was to focus on the problems rather than its solutions. The result was an over crowed structure, slow to adapt to markets changes and away of consumers needs..
From the internal point of view, the new information technology allows different way of organizing resources, information gets every levels inside firms throughout computers, avoiding the traditional misconception problem , (the low percentage of the original text, arriving to destiny),so it is possible to count with more sources for innovations, as long as knowledge is an asset which is spread out all over firms throughout different means such as e; mails, fax, video conferences, and increasing searching data capabilities.
The point is how to cope with this new asset, and how to take advantage of it .One thing is clear in this scenario based on information and knowledge :Productivity depend not just on physical strength but both, on communications skills, and the ability to coordinate all productive process. In Chile ,there are studies which shows some flaw in the business decisions models, when it comes to use the new information technology, and that is because of following the wrong strategy concerning the practice of management models.( )
On the external front, resources have higher mobility than what it is stated in most of the conventional macroeconomics texts ,consumers needs are changing continuously and the challenge becomes to identify a niche ,”the client profit strategy”. But above all , markets appears to give higher commercial value ,only to those firms which also work with higher level of knowledge .

Friday, January 06, 2006

Latin America:After all,positive ecoomic signals

In its latest report, the LAEC (Latin America economic Comission, CEPAL in Spanish), has indicated three important advances with social implications :
Employment generation: According to LAEC ´s report, in the year 2005; 5,6 million people found employment in urban zones ,reducing unemployment from 10,3 to 9.3% (17.8 million people).However ,an increasing proportion of new employment opportunities are in the category of temporary. On the other hand, unemployment reduction has also been helped by a decrease in Labor force Participation from 59,5 to 59,2 %.The secondary worker hypothesis would be a plausible explanation ,as economic conditions are improving ,it is not necessary to have too many people within a family group looking for a job.. At the same time ,it is interesting to take note that, some proportion of those not in the Labor force, are moving back to the educational system .Sure, Master and Doctoral programs are on the rise, along with specialization courses. Education is a good investment opportunity in Latin America!.-
Economic growth : The expectation for this year , is to have economic growth slightly over 4%,following a three year of continuing economic expansion. This growth; is explained by the international positive conditions, (world economy grew 3,5% last year), and dynamism of domestic demand ,although it can not be ruled out the impact of the previous reforms ,which have created the conditions to take advantages of such opportunities. On this regards, there are still a long way to go. Most of the progress done on the economic front, must be complemented on the institutional front. The modernization of the State, the improvement on the quality of education, the incentives for entrepreneurship, should be on the regional agenda. Between 1990-2002, annual economic growth in the region was 2,6 %, but other related economies (the whole developing economies)are growing faster (5,7% between 2003-2006). The situation calls for a deepening of the global trade orientation, or export growth strategy. Unfortunately ,easy money coming from the higher prices of natural resources, mainly those one related to the energy sector, are introducing some confusion concerning the right direction to follow over.
Implications : The most important implications of continuing growth and increasing employment ,is the reduction on poverty. In fact since 2002 poverty has decreased from 44% to a 40,6% in the year 2005. Given that the first condition to reduce poverty ,is to create wealth , in the “ Post Washington consensus era”, further reduction in poverty level, will depend more on the ability of regional government to pursue policies complementary with growth.
Lower external vulnerability: In the last three years, regional current account is on the surplus side.(0,5% (2003),0,9% (2004),and 1,5% (2005)).This is something nobody expected .Latin America is exporting capital, it does not depend that much on external resources ,as it was in the previous fifty years. However, while in the south cone the current account surplus will be 3% as a percentage of GDP (2005), in Mexico and the Central America countries ,there will be a current account deficit equivalent to 1,8% of GDP. So, there is a mixed reality concerning current account, based upon different factors explaining its results. The overall balance, indicates that it is necessary to increase domestic investment, currently below 1998 levels. Investment, is the key variable to support growth. Also, it means that as long as there is an increase of foreign currency ,the exchange rate appreciate, helping to keep inflation pressures on line, but eventually hurting exporting sectors , and domestic product which compete with cheaper imported products. So, local Firms must have efficient management model, and the State must complement them.-