Papandreou, then Berlusconi reluctantly agree to go. Are we seeing a financial version of the Arab Spring?

The global financial crisis is claiming its victims as political leaders reluctantly agree to go. Revolution is in the air. Attempts to cling to power appear to be unable to resist the forces of change

It has been a week in which the G20 financial summit fell short of finding a road-map out of the global financial crisis. Yet the meeting triggered off radical changes to the regimes in the most vulnerable Nation States.

First it was Greece

Over the weekend [Nov 6th-7th 2011] it was Greece and Prime Minister George Papandreou.

Then Italy

Then, within days, Italy becomes part of the widening crisis. (Or maybe the wider crisis existed, and attention turns in Domino fashion to the next weakest market?). The once all-powerful Sylvio Berlusconi, survivor of fifty votes of no-confidence, faces one challenge too many.

The rise of the technocratic leader

One interesting theme is that the revolutions are not being led by those seeking to replace the defeated leaders. Rather, there is talk that the new leaders must by ‘technocrats’.

I am reading this to mean that old-style political figures have been ill-equipped to grasp the subtleties of the 21 Century global financial situation. The power-brokers are looking for a new kind of leader beyond the dynastic and partisan.

A rather obvious concern is that the departure of old-style dynastic figures appear to favour advocates of the prevailing financial system. in Greece and in Italy, commentators insist on the need for a technocrat with financial leadership experience to cope with the new circumstances. Elections are in the air.

The Arab Spring

It is tempting to draw an analogy with the so-called Arab Spring (Was it all kicking-off only a few short months ago?)

I do not chose to draw too close a parallel, but the mood for ‘regime change’ seems comparable, the changes themselves inevitable if unpredictable in their consequences. Maybe Angela Merkel is playing the role of NATO, imposing financial no-fly roles to support desired changes?

3 Responses to Papandreou, then Berlusconi reluctantly agree to go. Are we seeing a financial version of the Arab Spring?

  1. samer al salhi says:

    it could be the Arab movement which triggered for the “need of change” in other nations but what concerns me is having successful changes in the developed nations and more problems in the Arab worlds !

    I think the leadership is in conjuncture these days [do you mean ‘conjuncture’ as in ‘tipping point’ ED?]. I like the hypothesis of the “Penrose Effect” a hypothesis in economics which says if the growth pace of a firm is faster than what the management improvement pace then they “the management” will be the constraints, and require a serious change.

    i think this some way somehow could be reflected in these leaders, and that the pace of changes hitting the world these days is faster than what those “old fashioned” leaders’ capabilities for improvement and change. So they became the issue for their nation and contributed “unintentionally” to their nation’s crises. Hnce a significant change should take place with new brains, and new leadership style that fits the current global circumstances. I hope the Arab leaders could understand that

    Those old fashioned ones either have to to improve and match the capabilities needed for this era, or just step down.

    The only new leadership styles among the Arabs are UAE leaders, Jordanian leaders and some kind of Lebanese leaders (“if Iran stays away”). Another is KSA king who tries to influece those new leaders close to him, but again the culture issue does make it easy!

  2. Thank you Samer. Your point about political change being connected to the pace of leadership being willing to change is well-taken.

    There is also an old theory in OB (I think maybe from Lewin) which links leaning and change. I am trying to remember more about it. maybe it came as an equation connecting change, person, and environment.

  3. ‘Ouch’. The moment I sent the comment I remembered the ‘old theory of OB’. It was from my one-time colleague from Manchester, Reg Revans, celebrated pioneer of action learning.

    In his book he introduces his concept of learning though the formula
    L = P + Q

    where L is learning, P is programmed knowledge,and Q is questioning to create what would today be called personalised or contextualised knowledge.

    I had muddled it up with Lewin’s even more famous ‘equation’ that change is a function of the individual and the environment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: