Kolumni: When organisations, cities and countries progress?

Imagine two teams where in one the culture is to attract, develop, and retain excellent resources. In contrast, in the other, the culture is to attract, support, and retain mediocre resources. Which of these teams do you think will really progress in long-run? In today’s society where the options are more than ever before, good resources are hard to find and even harder to retain.

There is a funny anecdote of a discussion between a CFO and a CEO in a company. In the story, that CFO did not want to invest money on talent development as it costs a lot of money and resources for the company. The CFO questioned the CEO that, “what if we invested in our people and they decide to leave the company after a while?" The CEO smiled and quipped, “what if we do not invest in them and they decide to stay?" Of course, there is a risk of losing people after investing money on them. That risk is far less than keeping unqualified, demotivated and net-value-destroying people inside a team. At last, it is a matter of perspective and principle of leadership. Good leaders surround themselves with people cleverer than themselves. Insecure individuals acting as leaders surround themselves with incompetent people who will never really question their decisions.

The same is true for a city and a country. Excellent resources for a country or a city are the progressive companies, civil society and government organisations, net-value-creating individuals they can attract, develop, and retain. These days progressive organisations invest in cities and countries where they see long-term potential for growth. Transformation is a long-term objective. One can not talk about progress just by focusing on short-term gains while jeopardising long-term developments.

Individual and collective progresses need to be measured using meaningful metrics. Such measures should holistically capture progress in terms of social, economical, political, technological, and environmental value creation. For example, development in some cities and countries happen at the cost of destroying their natural resources and polluting their environment. This kind of progress is net-value destroying and should be avoided. There is an old Indian adage that says “goodness and evil does not come from outside." Of course, there are influences and impacts coming from outside. But the real chances for our long-term success and failure as a company, city, and country solely depend on our internal strengths and weaknesses, and how well we fulfill our shared responsibilities as resources. Thriving organisations, cities, and countries truly understand this and constantly strive to transform themselves by identifying weaknesses and fixing them. In sum, they attract, develop, and retain net-value creating resources. Now the question is, are you part of one?

Dr. Krish Sankaran


Radical Innovations Group - RIG

Vaasa, Finland