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What govts can learn from best run companies?
Fri, 5 Aug Pre-Open

The world debt crisis has brought many countries on the verge of bankruptcy. The European nations especially PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain) have to rely on EU and IMF to bail them out. Even the world's largest economy the United States was on the verge of default. The world's largest technology company Apple had more cash than the world's largest sovereign government before the debt ceiling was raised and the US government could borrow more money. Governments around the world could take some lessons from the best run companies in order to come out of the crisis and improve governance.

Cash rich Apple Inc. can offer many tips to the debt-ridden US government in financial management. First, it would eliminate spending that's not working. Then it would make a commitment to spend if necessary. Third, it would look for ideas to spend on and allocate resources to the right results. Fourth, overcome the psychology of defeat. Apple and Google went through tough times, adapted and never stopped innovating and growing. Finally, it would collect more money than it spends. The US government and European nations could follow these lessons to bring their economy back on track.

The Indian government is facing a governance crisis. The image of the government has taken a beating on the back of various scams. It too could learn from some of the best run Indian companies like Infosys and Tata Group. The two companies have the best corporate governance model in India. Ones built on transparency with stakeholders. They have created a value based system with a very strong focus on ethics. The Indian government could take a lead from these companies to improve governance. First, they should bring in transparency; people should know what government officials are doing. Second, there should be accountability; people can hold government officials responsible for their actions. Third, there should be participatory decision-making; people should be involved in making decisions that affect them.

Politicians around the world should think of running governments like business. This will make them more efficient and effective. It will not only help them rationalise spending but also become more accountable to the people whom they serve.

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Feb 21, 2018 (Close)