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Posts Tagged ‘Transformation

Reality Check

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Organizational Culture shows us how governments, corporations, associations and other organizations manage their story and proactively shape their message.  Al-Qaeda has an organizational culture just like any other entity and hey, it’s run by a guy in the construction business with a bunch of sub-contractors who deliver their trade which happens to be self-inflicted mayhem and death.

The U.S. is a squeamish organization — we don’t like to see blood and heart-breaking scenes and we don’t like to violate our values and standards by using taboo subjects (religion, race, ethnicity, gender, etc) to our advantage in an information campaign. The U.S. is tough minded when it has to be, but its organizational culture steers away from making decisions, embracing necessary change or cutting off what isn’t working.

The government has pathological difficulty in cutting off funding for what isn’t working.  That would be the “war” in Afghanistan and the “deomacratization” of Iraq and Afghanistan.

Throwing money and human beings in the form of soldiers at problems that require tougher decisions and a longer term frame of reference is how the U.S. has avoided the painful work of facing reality.  Now reality means no more money.  Perhaps, at last,  bankruptcy and debt will force prudent decisions.

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Written by patwa

10/11/2009 at 12:51 am

Age :: Debt and who will take care of Grandma?

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Older Chinese Couple

 

In 2000, 6.8 percent of China’s vast population were age 65 or older.

By 2025, 13.4 percent of China’s population will be age 65 or older.

Source:  Eberstat, N. (2004, Fall) Four Surprises in Global Demography. Orbis 48, 4:673-684.  p. 676

So what does that mean for ordinary people?  China depends on families to look after the health and welfare of its elderly population. The one-child policy has been effective in stabilizing population growth, but the replacement population is skewed to males.

China may need a gender based immigration policy to continue a stable replacement worker population to continue the growth which can support the rapidly aging population through individual care or a national pension scheme.

China will always have a vast population, so that demographic impacts may not be as deep, but widespread.  The political history has been to shift populations around the territory in order to support continued growth, populate empty areas and stimulate development. However, soon China will have a top heavy aged population — and the stereotype that Chinese are long-lived applies here — with many of those elders without family members to care for them.  Some of those sole offspring did not survive or did not reproduce because of the under-representation of females since the one-child policy took effect. Some emigrated.

China will have to revisit the current policy on pensions and health care. This may provide emerging market opportunities for developed nations to provide China with services such as elder care and health care delivery.

And, look out China, under-educated, unskilled American females may be headed your way to pick up prosperous spouses.

Debt

Did you know…..China’s public debt as a percent of GDP  —  16.20 (2008 est.), #101 on the global list. India’s public debt as a percent of GDP — 61.30 (2008 est.) # 23.  The public debt of the United States — 60.80 in relation to GDP (2007 est.) #24 on the list.

Source: CIA (2009). Country Comparison::Public Debt. The World Factbook. Retrieved October 3, 2009 from: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2186rank.html

The U.S. was only a notch ahead of India on the amount of public debt as a percentage of GDP in 2008, using data prior to the global economic implosion.

While India and the U.S. will retain their robust populations to continue economic dynamism, by 2050 half of the U.S. population will be middle-aged or older.

India and the U.S. have similar profiles  of public debt in relation to GDP, but working-aged population is projected to diverge.  This will impact U.S. ability to sustain its economic growth pattern in relation to mounting proportion of public debt. If  the U.S. enhances trade partnerships with the more stable and growing economies such as India, the U.S.  economic outcome may improve.

Great-Grandmama may be able to afford a caregiver — a sponsored immigrant from India who speaks excellent English and has nursing training.

Resources: http://www.Kumarafoundation.com

Written by patwa

01/11/2009 at 11:38 pm

Change the Culture :: Tell the Story

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The skillful manipulation of the essential story of the conflict between the U.S. with al-Qaeda has left the U.S. on the wrong side of the story.  And make no mistake, in the information age, it is all about the story that plays online, on mobile phones, television, on video and film.  Viral messaging moves images and information faster than governments can perceive, let alone respond or manage the message. Today’s message is repeated, expanded and changed as the reteller (retailer) sees fit.

The U.S. should use its considerable expertise in psychology and its thousands of highly skilled civilian psychologists (as well as military psychologists), regional cultural specialists, creative story tellers, film directors and others, to produce a sophisticated narrative to manage the information strategically to turn the story in a different direction.  It is essential to understand how to deliver the message to a culture, region and social setting that is completely different than the U.S.

The development, training and success of the Iraqi Security Force  (ISF) is another element to be managed in strategic information operations.  The image of the ISF as weak and ineffectual must change in order for the narrative to support information dominance. Delivering that message correctly requires a strategy, perhaps more difficult than training the forces. Major General (Ret.) Najim Abed Al-Jabouri, an officer in the former Iraqi Air Defense and now a Senior Fellow in the Near East South Asia Center at the National Defense University points out that “the United States fails to realize is that the ISF itself is the battleground in the larger communal struggle for power and survival. Middle Eastern concepts of civil-military relations are fundamentally different than Western ones. Western militaries have developed a culture of political control over armed forces. …this is not the established culture in either Iraq or the greater Middle East. In Iraq, there is a culture of “he who owns the security forces, owns the politics.” (Al-Jabouri, 2009)

Al-Jabouri, Najim Abed (2009, August). Iraqui Security Forces after U.S. Withdrawal: An Iraqi Perspective. Institute for National Strategic Studies  Strategic Forum No.  245.

Written by patwa

29/09/2009 at 12:58 am

Transformation? Or Change?

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The Transformational Challenge

Change is now called transformation.  What does that mean to a variety of different audiences?  As government embraces the word “transformation,” it confuses the situation and response, as it tries to differentiate between changing circumstances (incremental change) and transformation (more holistic, larger scale change).

We know, in the future, the concept of unfolding change will be called something else again.

The language of change and transformation matters. Semantics create expectations. Communications with the entire organization need to be clear and direct, avoiding language and in-house jargon that carries baggage and builds resistance or heightens awareness of past hierarchies.

Do you think transformation in government leadership will succeed?

 

 

Written by patwa

06/05/2009 at 11:40 pm

Staycation

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Staying home to conserve fuel and financial resources?

You’re on a Staycation.

cartoon of a woman sitting on patch of sand behind a house

New Yorker Cover February 25, 2008
©CondeNast.com

This summer — or winter– take the time to explore your own backyard, walk through a local park, or tour the county historical society museum.

No need to book out-of-town on a carbon-hearty expedition.

Written by patwa

14/07/2008 at 12:29 pm

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