As I currently conduct a world wide analysis of the World of Work, partially to put things in perspective (one loses it when staying too long in OECD countries) and partially to learn whatever I can. I wanted to share a few things that are not really new to me, but that I knew more intellectually than in practice. I had not been to India, Australia, to South Asia and South America for a few years and I really wanted to be surprised. I was.
Here are jsut a few tidbits of my takes, more will come.
1 – The very concept of World of Work is different across geographies, let’s be very careful not to « average » our OECD view. The World of Work is absolutely not flat, the issues are quite different across countries except probably for the ones dealing with social disparities.
2 – The very notion of « crisis » is quite different and the meaning of it for Australian, Indians, Chinese, Vietnamese, Argentinian is also very different. Here again, when we Europeans or Americans speak to a global audience, let’s be careful not to look too much OECD centric.
3 – Some industries are growing very fast, this is particularly the case of mass middle class tourism, but while the demand is there, the skills are not… and the money is coming. Even in the middle of a crisis, tourism is very active. Large capacities are being built in many places and they often are for local tourism (e.g. Cochin backwaters boats capacity, Angkor temples hotel capacities). Long range international tourism may slow down, locat tourism will flourish non stop because those who can access to it, the middle class, really want to enjoy.
4 – The relations between geo politics and the World of Work are more and more important and perceived as such by the populations, they are not abstract anymore and depending only on major events like wars. Examples: Australia economic situation and employment depend on relations with China (and its thirst for natural resources); Vietnam economic health and labor market depend on the situation in China on two accounts: on one hand for industrial employment (since industry location can now be arbitrated between China and India) and on the economic and political situation in Thailand on the other (for tourist attraction).
5- India and China are important everywhere for everybody and many see their future as depending on theirs.
6-Digital strategy is not a gadget for OECD countries, it is expected, in a form or an other, all over the place and the most important media will be the mobile phone line. Local farmers and fishermen in many places really do communicate to get the market prices in various local markets for selling their goods.
These are just a few illustrations, they illustrate in my view some of the care we have to take when we believe we are at the center of the World….