Global Champions can be found in all areas. They are particularly committed. They show passion and courage to act. Moreover, they have developed special skills and achievements in their field of work. They are particularly successful. They are role models who pass on their knowledge and character to the next generation.
If we want to cook well, we search for the best recipes from all over the world in the Internet. And in politics?
The dominant and executive bureaucracy in most countries is dominated by senior individuals in leading positions, an encrusted gerontocracy. They offer young people with new ideas little opportunities and tend to emphasise the possible risks linked to a variety of topics. Moreover, they are far too slow. They sit in secure positions and are not even ashamed of it. This kind of executive no longer fits in at all with the manifold challenges of a rapidly changing globalised world.
Very few politicians ever look beyond their regional horizons. Our policy is deeply provincial. Yes, the trend is currently turning against globalisation. Back to the national gar- den, with a wall as high as possible around it.
Where are the champions and mentors from whom politicians can learn? Where is the serious search for the best?
We count 193 states in the United Nations, but what do we know about them? About their way of making policy. For example, about their kindergartens, schools, university systems, health care, effective tax systems, social housing or the protection of civil rights? In fact, almost nothing. We stew in our own juice.
That is simply too little for international competitiveness today. Because only the best wins. Only nations capable of operating their affairs successfully are able to survive.
Can we master the challenges of tomorrow with traditional methods?
The good news first: better policies and a good future are feasible. Let us look around for the best recipes. Let us look beyond the ideological and regional horizons.
We can and must all learn much more from each other, seek out the champions of politics in all countries of the world, analyse, understand and emulate their best practices from all political areas.
This would put us into a position to learn from each other, save money and create progress and prosperity for all.
We would be able to achieve a great leap forward and bring our countries forward with radical reforms.
It is about the whole spectrum of good examples in local, national and international politics. For kindergartens, schools, universities, green cities worth living in, but also for good health care, fair taxes, social security for the unemployed, the creation of jobs and growth, a sensible foreign and security policy, the protection of the environment or of civil liberties according to the guidelines of the United Nations and much more.
A very large country has recognised this and is systematically having its party university examine role models and their transferability from all over the world. It is our main competitor, the People’s Republic of China.
The country is enthusiastic about reforms and copies the best products from around the world. The country aims to become the world market leader in ten industrial sectors by 2050.
Chinese thought and political leadership are geared towards rapid progress. China is obsessed with progress, focuses on fast innovation, sets short time frames, keeps an eye on global competition and uses its power ruthlessly. The party is exerting enormous pressure its people and pushing the country into the future.
The aggressive Chinese dragon will win if we, with our sluggish and self-righteous democracies, do not implement intelligent innovations faster. In other words, China was able to reach its current position because it has learned from the best in the world since 1978 and has copied and refined their innovations over 42 long years.
Now Chinese conglomerates are buying into companies with know-how in the West and incorporating it step by step. They are very successful. For example, the car manufacturer Geely founder Li Shufu with the purchase of Volvo in 2010 (value increased tenfold) and his participation as anchor investor 2018 in Daimler AG with 9.7 percent. In 2019 the Beijing Automotive Group was added with a further 5 percent.
Western democracies are so weak because, due to pride, ignorance and inertia, they have failed to recognise this important mechanism and to implement it consistently. They are already weak. They will lose out for good by 2050 if they do not learn from China now and without delay. In addition, we must work together to build up digital world market lea- ders and develop a clever containment policy against Beijing.
The great leap forward can only be made internationally if we want reforms, learn from the best in the world and do not get lost in petty cosmetic repairs to the systems and plugging holes. Why should politicians keep reinventing the wheel when someone has already shown us how to do it?
We should learn from China and emulate the mechanism in industry and culture.
Let us learn from successful medium-sized companies and hidden champions. Benchmarking has been a common winning method there for decades. “The mostly owner-managed companies have absorbed a lot of knowledge and maintain their own database with all the details about their competitors. At trade fairs they analyse the latest trends. These data show their own weaknesses as well as the strengths of their competitors and the intermediate status in global competition,” Professor Nils Herda tells. They fight courageously and cleverly with heart and mind. Otherwise, your company will slip into the red, be swallowed up by the competition or even go bankrupt. An inner dynamo as well as the unconditional will to win and improve quickly are the driving forces behind this group of future-makers. The entrepreneurs and their committed employees feel an urge and a desire to shape the future. In hundreds of details from design, new technology to efficient production and better marketing. Now digitisation and Industry 4.0 are proceeding quickly, and companies seek to become the best in the world or defend their leading position against competition in the industrial revolution and against China.
But what about politics?
It remains stuck in an outdated ritual. Too many politicians squat in their local, ideologically padded bunny pit and just hop to the nearest garden fence.
This is one of today’s major problems: the world has become global and innovative, but politics is still deeply provincial and local.
We operate at two different speeds: Rapid change versus slow political processes. This is where the thread breaks today as well as the citizens’ patience.
We should now tear down these walls in the minds of politicians in every country in the world, learn from the best global thinkers and pioneers and rapidly implement excellent ideas.
We need a global revolution in thought and action, a perpetuated reform 24/7.
We could save billions of taxpayers’ money, generate more jobs, create a clean environment and establish peace and freedom: We must both work permanently for regional reinvention and implement best practices and ideas from all over the world. We need to be prepared to make constant improvements, i.e. reforms, and not always argue: “We have never done this before.”
Our policies would then be more effective and better, in all countries. This is one of the great opportunities we have not yet exploited and that costs us almost nothing.
Those who miss out on the global learning and innovation process will oversleep the future, be left behind in global competition and slide into a permanent crisis. Like in a fish trap, there is hardly any way out of this situation.
If China keeps learning to drive and finance innovation rapidly, but not the democracies, they are likely to fall behind by 2050.
Too many countries are frozen, encrusted, full of unsolved problems hardly anyone is tackling. Feasible solutions are being dragged out and the crumbling house in need of renovation is only being repainted. A lot is being promised, but too little is being implemented, and too slowly.
Globally, everything is in flux with billions of hard-working and innovative individuals. Nothing remains as it is. Those who think and act statically will lose and will eventually ossify, like the USSR until 1985.
A perpetual capacity for learning and reform is a basic prerequisite for political stability and people’s happiness.
We urgently need improvements in all areas, more effecti- veness in policy. Radical reforms in all countries, a perpetual process of learning and improvement. Not the day after tomorrow, but as soon as possible.
Having mastered these tasks, we can be able to maintain prosperity, peace and freedom and shape a better world of humanity with creativity in the 21st century.
What needs to be done? How do we find the global champions and what can we learn from them? Here are some suggestions:
- The ‚Minister for the Future and Creativity‘ draws up a plan which is renewed and discussed annually. It contains the most important political fields, for example: education (kindergartens and pre-school education, primary and secondary schools, universities, adult education centres and further education). Environmental protection (exemplary concepts in the fields of air, water, soil and sustainability). Social welfare. Unemployment. Support for new business. Digital progress. The best way to deal with older people. An affordable health care system. A simple and fair tax system. More internal security. Effective external security and defence. Managing migration with humanity. Freedom of the press and freedom of expression. Equality between men and women. A social economic system with growth, housing, or infrastructure. Energy and transport. An effective digital administration. Protection of minorities, tolerance, happiness and satisfaction as factors of good politics, etc.
A team leader coordinates the investigations and forms an international working group on each topic.
The members are networked with experts from all over the world. They draw on and complement the work of expert teams from all over the world.
The task force then looks for the ten best practices in each area. Criteria are established for what is important and exemplary in these areas. Thus, a pool of role models is created weighing and explaining the respective strengths and weaknesses.
Subsequently each task force presents its results and introduces them to the public. The results are put in the worldwide web for discussion. Anyone can contribute ideas and com- ments. The results are then presented in workshops with other organisations and governments. Annually an updated version is issued with the new findings.
- At cabinet level, the new ‚Minister for Future and Creativity‘ coordinates long-term planning. The Minister presents an annual ‘Future and Creativity Report’ to the parliament highlighting the main long-term trends on a global scale and proposes solutions.
- A “Role Models and Creative Ideas for the Future” – department is set up in the ministries and at all political levels within the planning staff. In this department ten staff members each collect best practices from all over the world. These are recorded in a database and reviewed by experts. The department presents an annual report with concrete proposals to the management. Employees are invited to contribute their ideas. In turn, they are rewarded for their work by being promoted.
- A network including innovative think tanks, such as the World Economic Forum, is to be set up. Every year a ‘Congress for Future and Creativity’ is held dealing with issues in each area paving the way for open discussion of new ideas. Every three months, experts discuss new solutions in a brainstorming workshop.
- Establishing an online network modeled on Taiwan (SI.taiwan.gov.tw; sandbox.org.tw), involving all members and experts. Virtual meetings with decision- makers every month on an important topic. This instrument allows every citizen to participate in the discussions thereby providing policy makers better data on the wishes and concerns of their constituents.