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viernes, 22 de febrero de 2002

Innovation=Flexibility, Initiative, and Imagination


People don’t want to listen to anything that is not related to production and work.

People no longer distinguish between politicians and economists. They see and associate them in general with an insensitive pathology and think their creative capabilities are inhibited. Prizes 2002 in Economy of the Swedish Academy (Nobel) are the prelude of true changes. This is a challenge for professionals in economic sciences. The heirs of Alfred Nobel wanted to eliminate the prize in Economy a short time ago. Nevertheless it is worrisome that one of them (Kahneman) is not even a traditional economist, but psychologist. His analysis of how the human beings make decisions when they face uncertainty and risk has created a new branch of the economy, although may not be nice for us. To offer a message from an economist who has an exclusive focus and education as well as a monetary and fiscal tendency will not be more serious.

In the last years was Joseph Stiglitz, Daniel Kahneman of the Princeton University and Vernon Smith of the George Mason University of Virginia Colorado. The message is clear, it advises the retirement of non-compassion economists who have prevailed for the last twenty-five years. We mean that one who appears in Argentina and many parts of the world as an extremely egoistic person, able to turn anything in a number or to speak of mathematical abstractions. People are deploring to |unbearable know-it-all who do not give solutions to their quality of life and give opinion folding their legs in a TV program, and they are not perturbed when speech of unemployment, factories that close, retired and pensioned, poor and undernourished children. It seems to be that preferences are directed to people understandable and simple who trust in their intuition and observation of events to make decisions and frequently do not show off that their knowledge is perfect. The new

Nobel’s have revealed that people observe the information around to try to understand how the world works, instead of having a limitless knowledge, which the economists who live in the ozone hole took for, granted until now. They also discovered that people have difficulties to calculate the probabilities associated with the occurrence of future events. We must underline, they discovered that the answer in surveys are conditioned by the procedure in which the questions are formulated. This could clearly be subject of manipulation. Although it seems obvious, it’s important to know that people calculate risks in a non-proportional way.

For example they have discovered that people tend to exaggerate the probabilities of a nuclear catastrophe, but diminishes the risks of experiencing a car crash.

The classic economist tends to think human decisions in terms of the benefits waited for each possible future scene in respect of associated occurrence probabilities. But if people very crazily give greater importance to some situations than to others, their decisions will be against the basic calculation. In nearly domestic terms this is an approach of the "Prospective theory" of Kahneman and Tversky (died in 1996). I am not saying the classic economy is useless neither that the monetary and fiscal approach is not an essential and important contribution. It is necessary that we proceed to the transformation, which for many innocents has become an unpleasant and declining science. Notwithstanding its import to avoided the constant contests between arrogant personages in order to verify or to demonstrate who knows more and who express with incomprehensible ostentations for common people what papers or textbooks of the best universities of the world contain. It’s intended to contribute applied knowledge with sufficient sensitivity and tolerance to the society to work on the problems that it suffers.

Probable Opponents

Existing Interest, Preexistent Structures With Cultures "Anti Innovation"

The most habitual reaction to face a change is the resistance. Ironies or crudeness like: "things have always been like this", "that is not the way to do the things in the world, we cannot modify the gravity law”,” It doesn’t seem to me beneficial", "Yes, but...” "It didn’t never made it", "if it were so good why didn’t anybody do it before".

Changing something is always disturbing for somebody structured or formed in an only thought. The conventional wisdom got in the University is the best argument for it and the worse one for a country with the problems as Argentina. In Argentina, economists who occupied a post in public sector have that mentality and they find always a reason to explain why a new thing will not work. Argentina needs to flee from that depressed and contagious spirit who kills the imagination in order to improve.

That discouraged attitude to be against to which is not orthodox and to fight all the unknown things, has already had horrifying costs. In our consultant tasks, in addition to brain storming in groups, we usually make personal interviews with directors. We converse about the base for business strategy diagnoses.

In one of them with an executive of an important textile company with financial difficulties he told me that never we could implement the dressmaking section in a Northern Province.

Of course he gave us as much arguments and abundant experience as discouraging to Superman. Not conform to that, he signed it ironically, although he authorize them to try it.

Our proposal consisted to get an annual saving of 800 thousand dollars. We implemented the proposal successfully and a day we showed the signed napkin. All of us have found experienced and sincere people who would seem to know everything.

Many times in companies and of course in the countries, we don’t think about differentiating strategies because there are intellectual or tradition tying as result of frustration on previous attempts. Right there "impossible ones appear ". For many people these were the countries defeated in the World War II, those of Southeast Asia, the closed economy of Communist China.

Most of innovating advantages come from countries and organizations with human capital and creativity. Argentina offers mathematics professors to the best schools of the United States and Europe. Brains should emigrate since they don’t see development possibilities in the country. In this way, intellectuals and producers lose motivation. Who doesn’t think about taking liberties with an alternative abroad to stop suffering, sometimes? We need to exile historical traditions.

Standardized economists and chancellors, structured and comfortable international public employees must abstain from pressing this proposal.

Very often, in business experience there are immutable things and people, tasks impossible to do otherwise maintain by obstinate people to their armchair, "sacred cows".

People, strategies, policies, systems, automatism and techniques are standardized that say

"We have always done in this manner and we will not move". These mentalities drown and debilitate competitive strength. The MIT´s productivity commission called the great American corporations as "deposit of old attitudes and old-fashioned policies". I want to underline and affirm this observation. Public employees and their advisers, as those executives of the private sector assume political attitudes that were solidified through the years.

In the globalization any reasoning that it wants to persist unscathed during more time than necessary it will be ineffective and counter-productive; it was demonstrated in only one decade. It was unfortunate that IMF had given green light to a country and to recommend plans design decades before, signing agreements, accepting strict requirement and later failing.

It’s as though a medical committee would discharge a patient, prescribing to him a treatment. Only that when he is coming out he carries expired medicine samples gave to him and as consequence the patient falls ill and then die.

If we persist in these attitudes, we will set towards economic decay together with organisms, institutions and developing countries as Argentina. We have been using plans belong to inflationary stabilization in the Seventies to deal with countries with deflation process in century XXI.

We must get ready to sacrifice honors and reputation. This is a consequence of innovating and facing the apparently "decreed thing, in writing or tacitly".

Sometimes who resist the idea are those that anyone would think they are the best people to realize the advantages to execute something new.

I presented here what in my opinion it constitutes the base of a plan for economic miracle. Of course that this is not an orthodox plan neither he is traditional heterodox. It is not Keynesian neither nor monetarist either. It is very intolerable for the tradition anyone is being the direction. It must be pure innovation, almost a provocation.

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