Posts Tagged ‘Lee Kuan Yew ’

Planning for What’s Next

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Scenarios are the most powerful vehicles I know for challenging our “mental models” about the world and lifting the blinders that limit our creativity and resourcefulness. ~Peter Schwartz

Using a longer lens

It’s been twenty years since the publication of Peter Schwartz’s insightful primer about scenario planning, The Art of the Long View. In the book, Schwartz makes a convincing case for using scenario planning in approaching strategic challenges of various kinds.

Schwartz, who led scenario planning efforts at Shell, Motorola, and Pacific Gas and Electric, concluded that the technique could be applied to handling the emergent complex threats that companies were confronting in the 90’s.

Since then, the world has grown radically more complex, more uncertain. Globalization and the Internet have woven together our institutions so that a crisis in one corner of the world can spread virally with far-reaching consequences.


Operating in the “Second World”

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Parag Khanna’s new book, The Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order (Random House, 2008), makes a case for understanding the world from the standpoint of Second World countries—those between modern, highly developed economies, and those in the underdeveloped Third World. Second World countries, including Russia, Turkey, Indonesia and Brazil, among others, are increasingly using their resources to exert influence in a new world order.

“Right now,” Khanna notes, “from the Middle East to Southeast Asia, the hero of the second world — including its democracies — is Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore.” His point is that, contrary to poular belief, Second World countries are not ideologically-driven, as much as driven by their desires to advance their economic self-interests.  Seeing the world from their perspective is helpful to operating more effectively in a multi-polar 21st century.

The Europeans, whom he classifies as a Superpower (with no apologies to conservative Robert Kagan), assume a more expedient stance when it comes to dealing with the Second World.   As a result, they’re getting more traction in those markets.

Khanna’s take will stir controversy.  But, at the very least, it’s helpful to view the world from others’ perspectives in order to understand the forces that are redefining the world.

Khanna’s book is a companion to Fareed Zakaria’s The Post American World mentioned in an earlier post.  Both books describe the profound implications of operating in an increasingly muti-polar world consisting of new relationships and sources of power.   Individuals interested in doing business of any kind on a global stage can benefit from seeing the world through the prism of the other players.

Interested in finding more on these topics? Khanna’s prescriptive NYT Magazine essay and a recent Charlie Rose interview are both illuminating.