In several blogs in Spanish (check Blogspot), I described recommended changes towards a more professional Public Service in Spain. In a recent interview former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Mª Aznar made a comparison between U.S. and EU working hours to defend his argument that productivity is definitely attained in the United States thanks to approximately 300 man-hours difference per worker in favour of American enterprises.
Aznar’s utter lack of experience in business and his narrow-minded perspective of 21st. Century concepts of strategic management drive him back to the 19th. Century vision of the Taylor Principle applied in Pennsylvania steelworks. His ignorance of American standards that go from prosperous innovative industries, passing through automobile manufacturers in crisis to land at sunrise agricultural workers at Mid-West farms that thrive mostly on subsidies disqualifies him to make an objective comparison with varied European working conditions with better social benefits.
In Spain, as in many other parts of the world, as circumstances surrounding this crisis have demonstrated, top executives need to change their chip lounged in conformism and high pays in order to stoop down low enough to find the added value of talent within their organisations. Once talent is recognised and properly stimulated and compensated, the whole business structure has no other way to go but to be more productive and competitive. It only takes guts to admit one’s own weaknesses and recognise subordinates’ strengths. Not all managers are real executives capable of having the required leadership to avail of opportunities precisely when a crisis brings these to one’s doorstep.
Madrid, April 21, 2009