What if countries were run like companies? What would be different? What could be better? Let’s take a minute to think about this…
The President would be the CEO. His main role, to create value for shareholders. He wouldn’t be elected in with a voting system and a popularity campaign. He’d be called upon and chosen, by an executive board, based on an lifelong track record of performance and excellence.
Citizens would be the workforce. They’d have job duties and responsibilities. They’d have benefits and bonuses, based on corporate performance. Their work would contribute to the growth and sustainability of the nation.
Citizens would be the consumers. They’d be the client base. They’d enjoy the value offerings created by the government and reward the company with monetary gain.
Citizens would be the shareholders. Their taxes would be like the equity market, but optional. Citizens would invest more of their capital back into the government, if they believed that the government could increase their wealth.
Product Strategy would be different. Government services would be considered as a product portfolio. Dedicated Product Managers would empathize with citizens’ needs and develop tailored products and services to satisfy citizen needs. Products and services would be analyzed rigorously in order to achieve continuous improvement. Services that do not add value to customers would be cut. New product offerings would be created to serve unmet needs.
Finances would be different. The government would have clear financial goals, and standard procedures such as quarterly reportings and earnings calls. Financial transparency would encourage, if not push for, productivity and annual gains. Budget oversight and capital allocation would be continuously assessed to maximize return on investment. In doing so, the goal would be to reassure the citizen shareholders of the countries’ performance and encourage re-investment back into the country.
Human Resources and Healthcare would be different. The healthcare system would be considered the wellness and lifestyle services program. Investment in an effective healthcare system would produce increases in productivity and citizen satisfaction. Healthy employees are productive employees.
Education and Employee Development would be different. The education system could be considered an employee training and development program. Countries would invest in both the professional and personal development of its citizens. Continuous development programs would be free and mandatory in order to maximize employee effectiveness.
Infrastructure and Technology would be different. The Government would think of its infrastructure system as the tools of value creation. For example, countries would offer free internet connectivity, transportation systems and open urban spaces as essential tools for citizens to communicate and collaborate.
Competitive Strategy would be different. A country’s sustainability would depend on its ability to satisfy the needs of its citizens with the resources available. An overwhelming dependence on foreign import would hinder a country’s competitiveness. An increase in the export of goods/services to satisfy foreign demand would be a strategy to maximize a country’s competitiveness in a global marketplace.
R&D and Innovation would be different. Government capital and resources would be allocated to the research and development of cutting edge services and products for its citizens.
Finally, Corporate Culture and Citizen Values would be one in the same. A country would strive to reinforce and reward positive behaviours and attitudes, eliminating behaviours that threaten the integrity of the nation’s cultures and values.
It’s a simply yet powerful analogy to envision your country and government through a different perspective. One that puts the citizens needs at the center of the political agenda. One that emphasizes the collective role of citizens in the value creation process for society at large.