Canada is a dictatorship

Dictatorship and democracy

Tuesday morning, 6 a.m., n-tv, two current headlines in quick succession:

"Maduro apparently wants to dissolve parliament": In the power struggle that has been going on in Venezuela for months, President Nicolás Maduro apparently wants to dissolve the parliament, which is controlled by the opposition. The government-loyal constituent assembly set up a commission to set the date for the parliamentary elections ... As a rule, the next parliamentary elections would not take place until the end of next year. After President Maduro has occupied almost all state institutions in Venezuela with his followers, the National Assembly is the last bastion of the government opponents.

"USA and Canada call for restraint": The USA has called on the conflicting parties in Hong Kong to exercise restraint after some violent clashes. "It helps societies most when different political views are respected and freely and peacefully expressed," said a senior US government official ... Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was "extremely concerned" about the current situation in Hong Kong. "We call for peace, order and dialogue," said Trudeau at a press conference. "We naturally appeal to China to be very careful and respectful in dealing with people who have legitimate concerns in Hong Kong."

From this one can very well draw parallels to the management of companies or to cultures in companies.

On the one hand there are the Maduros of this world (not the Venezuelans, they would be wronged even more - and yes, the spell checker says: with “o” instead of “u”). They run their company with an iron hand, true to the old Schrempp principle: "My way or highway!" (As a reminder, Schrempp was the CEO of Daimler who pushed through the merger with Chrysler, which, as we know, ended in quite a disaster). Only their will and their attitude count - bastions of the enemy, be it departments or individuals, must be occupied by followers. This is the only way to maintain power. The culture in the company is accordingly: Who is with whom, against or for Maduro and mistakes are lurked in order to eliminate opponents as elegantly as possible. But don't forget: decisions are made quickly and quickly implemented and enforced.

On the other hand, there are - let's call them - the Trudeaus (a reference to the USA probably doesn't make any sense at the moment). Different factual and personal views are respected. These can be expressed openly and freely without worrying about the consequences. Dealing with one another is characterized by caution and mutual respect and is peaceful. There is a consensus-oriented culture and decisions are made in mutual agreement. We already have a pink corporate cloud in mind and the sound of a harp in our ears ...

It will now be exciting in two points or questions.

On the one hand: Which companies or cultures are more successful? One naturally tends spontaneously to the Trudeaus of this world. Consensus-oriented and open companies, that's what we all want today. Unfortunately, I do not have an empirical basis for comparison for companies (but I am happy to receive interested parties from science). For countries, however, there are statistics that compare GDP growth on a USD basis from 1990 to 2016. The top 10 in descending order: Equatorial Guinea, China, Myanmar, Qatar, Mozambique, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Laos, Vietnam, India. How many real democracies are in this list of successful countries (tip: Cape Verde is 23rd out of 167 countries in the democracy index, the best ranking in Africa!)?

On the other hand: What happens when Maduro and Trudeau meet? Will the consensus-oriented Trudeau convert the power man Maduro? Or in relation to the forms of government: will democracy prevail over dictatorship? If you look again at the examples in different countries, the transition from dictatorships to democracies - although it seems desirable - was a rather rocky process, last seen in the Arab Spring in North Africa, the region in quite a chaos left behind. And were the cases in which a democracy drifted into a dictatorship perhaps even more frequent in the last few decades? Presumably this will only work if Trudeau can imagine the majority of the population or company workforce behind him. We'll see how it ends in Venezuela.

In this sense, make a comparison between politics and business from time to time, there are more parallels than you think (or fear)!


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Ingo Weber