We need to become more competitive in Spain, I agree with Paul Krugman. But, how can we do it? First it is the recognition that it will take time. This is a long conversation. It will take time to build competitive capabilities (even more in a country) to win the race of prosperity, but we need to start asap. Hence, I recommend the Rajoy’s government to think of a master plan for the support of companies (and society) to become more competitive through a journey of 3, 5, 10 years. We need this plan now and we need to monitor its evolution, continuously. We need a national Committee of experts to develop this plan and to put the plan up and running asap. Paul is right; it is not only about a new Labor law. We need to go to the micro level, which is at the organization level, at the cultural level, at the operational level, at the technological level. In other words, it is about having a long-term perspective, doing a significant organizational, social and cultural transformation, and implies high level of effort; instead of short-term, speculative way of earning money. I hope the Rajoy’s government quickly goes through the immediate economic measures (defined under the Germany’s pressure) and start a long-term plan of competitive development, which would firstly imply sacrifice (it is the price to be paid for the previous mistakes over the last 15 – 20 years) and prosperity in the mid-term.
There is no secret formula for a more competitive Spain, but there are some clear ideas about what the future would look like and what capabilities will be required. We need to strengthen the new economy capabilities based on digital platforms and business networks (e.g. digital education, analytical skills to manage big data, statistics, tech adoption and use), based on the new challenges of globalization (e.g. languages, international perspective, entrepreneurship, innovation, sustainability, risk management, etc.), and based on the areas we define as priority for the country and its prosperity (e.g. energy). We cannot continue being pulled by Germany or Europe. We need to develop our own strategy to compete as a country, as a society. Porter argued that few countries are doing strategic planning to define what the country wants to become in 10, 20, 30 years times. He mentioned, for example, Korea and Denmark.
It is a long conversation, but we need to start asap