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Are we serious about putting European industrial competitiveness in the lead?



Det talas mycket inom EU om europeisk industriell konkurrenskraft och om hur denna skall bli ledande. För detta måste man skapa en kultur där innovativa grepp inom management-kunnande skapas i Europa och vi måste ha en företagskultur som vill vara först med att tillämpa dem.

Artikel publicerad i september 2003 som gästkrönika på Comintells hemsida:


I find that given our present behavior the answer is clearly “no”. Why? I will give you an example of what I mean: I recently attended a meeting on innovation in European industry. Various speakers used all well-known management buzzwords. I listened to all of them and you know them too: core competencies, strategic flexibility, downsizing – rightsizing, value added analysis, strategic position, strategic business units, asset management, shareholder value, outsourcing, business intelligence – competitive intelligence, business process re-engineering, intellectual capital etc. Some concepts have been with us for quite some time and some are more recent.  Then suddenly it came to my mind that these people were talking about improving the competitiveness of European industry but were totally entrenched by the management concepts invented in the United States! Look once more at the list above. All but one of these concepts are American. Intellectual capital is probably the only (Swedish?) exception.  Is this significant in any way? Are there any implications? The European optimist will say that the origin of the ideas does not matter. It is the quality of application and implementation that counts. I am not so sure.


The importance of being first to apply a good concept

Competitive advantage (another American concept) is relative. There is a clear ”first mover advantage” (another American concept?). Those who are closest to the invention of a new concept will pick it up first and use it in their thinking and they will be first to pick the fruits from the new tree. For a moment they will hold a temporary advantage before the others (such as the Europeans) have caught up. But at that time the “first movers” have already gone one step further to maintain their lead……


A more aggressive mindset

The constant American preoccupation in management sciences to find new analytical tools to improve industrial activities is closely related to a more aggressive mindset in industry to improve through management innovations. This mindset is part of an industrial culture which makes you constantly evaluate new opportunities to improve. In industry you think about new concepts and evaluate the new opportunities yourself. You make up your mind very early if a new idea is something to try out or not. You do not wait until a new idea has been proven by others to be effective. It may then be too late to use it for your competitive advantage. You can only use it for competitive catch-up.


So, what can be done? Most of all new concepts and ideas of this sort come from Business Schools associated with the large American universities. Where are the European equivalents? Honestly we must admit that Europe has not the equivalent size and qualities of the business schools in the USA. Short term Europe has to ”join them” rather than ”beat them” but long-term there is of course an option to build European resources to come at par with the United States. It requires not only academic resources but must be footed in the aggressive industrial mindset described above and in a corresponding “industrial pull” to be first to evaluate new ideas and concepts that may create competitive advantage. 


Are we, Europeans, venturous enough to put Europe in such a position?


Se:

Orginalet på COMINTELLs hemsida


Truth Teller or 'JUMBO HOT CAT'


Ben Gilad har hävdat att den som arbetar yrkesmässigt med Competitive Intelligence (CI) skall vara organisationens "Chief Truth Teller." I ett bemötande på hans artikel analyserar Göran Pagels-Fick begreppet "sanning" i CI eller beslutsstöd i allmänhet. "Sanning" räcker inte. Begreppet är inte relevant för t.ex. spekulation om framtida handlingsvägar. Ärlighet är ett viktigt komplement.


Artikeln publicerades i "Competitive Intelligence Magazine" Vol 3, Number 1, Jan-Mar 2003.  Denna tidskrift ges ut av SCIP Society for Competitive Intelligence Professionals


Omvärldsanalys i ett globalt telekomföretag - utvecklingen inom Ericsson


Göran Pagels-Fick som från 1989 var chef för den enhet för marknadsanalys inom Ericsson Telecom som sedan kom att utvecklas till Ericssons första avdelning för Business Intelligence beskriver utvecklingen och svårigheter samt spekulerar om den kommande utvecklingen.


Kapitel i boken "Omvärldsbevakning för en ny tid" redigerad av Lennart Borg m.fl. och utgiven av Svenska Arbetsgivareföreningen, 1998.



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