I got excited about this article and that podcast which align with my wish for human-centered management cultures to replace policy-centered ones. The Harvard Business Review’s “Co-creating the employee experience” shows how IBM uses design thinking, crowdsourcing, and prototypes to develop HR policies because “people are much less likely to resist the change when they’ve had a hand in shaping it”. Tom Peters’ “Excellence dividend” [H/T Kathleen Edison] shows why investing in people and their development is the only necessary strategy companies should truly pursue. That quote sums it all: “If it is not incredibly cool and fun and energizing for the boss to walk at 1am in the distribution centre with the front line people who are doing the work, do the world a favour boss: resign tomorrow!”
It was the week of the IMF and World Bank Group Spring Meetings. What caught my attention came mostly from the IMF. Managing Director Christine Lagarde unpacked the trade tensions that were the main backdrop of the Meetings in her Hong Kong speech. In her Beijing speech, she flagged the debt and broader fiscal challenges that the Belt and Road Initiative faces in its expansion phase, and launched the China-IMF Capacity Development Center to train Chinese diplomats. The World Economic Outlook chapter on “Manufacturing jobs” debunked the long held view that development requires moving from agriculture to manufacturing to services. It documents the shrinking contribution of manufacturing to job creation at the global level and shows that some developing countries have skipped the manufacturing stage by rapidly developing service sectors with high productivity (eg telecom, transportation, financial intermediation).
My graph this week is from the OECD 2017 Official Development Assistance (ODA) figures. ODA stabilized at 146.6 billion in 2017 with two trends in reverse gear: (i) a decrease of in-donor spending (i.e. money spent on refugees in rich countries), and (ii) an increase in funds going to poorest countries. ODA remained mostly disbursed in the form of grants but the share of loans grew (+13% from 2016). The broader trend, pointed to by World Bank President Jim Kim, is that since the 1990ies, the ODA share of financial flows going to developing countries has dropped significantly to reach 9% today, reflecting the shrinking financial power of development organizations.
My quote this week is from Zuckerberg in his Ezra Klein interview: “It’s just not clear to me that us sitting in an office here in California are best placed to always determine what the policies should be for people all around the world.”