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“You already know how to be Great” by Alan Fine

You Already Know How to Be GreatThe first time I heard about this book was during a leadership course to which I attended some months ago. The main ideas of this document were used to teach the coaching as a technique for self-improving and to develop collaborators’ performance. In fact, I would say that this is, besides other things, a coaching book.

The author bases his proposal on the idea that everyone has the potential to perform better. The potential is blocked by the interference. That interference can come from the perception that we need more knowledge, but the author considers that “the problem is not as much about knowledge acquisition as it is Knowledge execution”.

Apart from knowledge, there are other three elements blocked by interference:

  • ·         Faith: our beliefs about ourselves and about others.
  • ·         Fire: energy, passion, motivation and commitment.
  • ·         Focus: what we pay attention to and how.

These three elements which are present throughout the book create with Knowledge what it is called the “K3F” model of human performance. The author releases his model and keeps insisting on the importance of developing each element for a better performance, but they are little the real advices to work on those elements.

The most interesting part of the book, and which I believe we can use with ourselves, is the GROW model for performance improving. This is a technique with four stages where by means of questions, we generate the better ways to achieve our targets. This is an inside-out process, where the person or team has the responsibility of developing his solutions and ideas, and the action plan. The four steps are:

  • ·         Goal: what is the goal? Make sure it is SMART. grow
  • ·         Reality: it must be accurate.
  • ·         Options: a brainstorming to come up with all the options.
  • ·         Way forward: what will you do? Make sure it is doable.

The book provides an exhaustive list of questions for each stage, which we can use from goal setting to way forward.

Since coaching is thought not only to work with ourselves but with others, the author proposes different ways to deal with people (performers) depending on their willing to collaborate. Examples of coaching conversation are given; however, I found some of them a bit fanciful (like the coaching conversation with a two-year-old girl).

Finally, I would say that this is a book from which we can obtain some helpful ideas. Probably the GROW model is the most relevant and reliable part, giving a tool to work on our (and others) performance.

The facts about the Global Growth: not so good for the Euro zone

GDP Growth Forecast 2013-2014In the last months the newspapers and the leaders have focused on the apparently encouraging recovery of the World main economies. It is true that since the beginning of 2013 the figures are improving in most advanced economies, but it is not less true that this improvement is slow and weak. Though, there are some large differences in the performance of the regions, being the Euro zone the worst.

On the one hand, no one can deny that the US performance is getting better and that they are showing a strong pace towards the recovery. This country has being struggling to maintain the financial stability of the system by pumping a lot of cash into the market. Although this period of cheap money is coming to an end, it has generated good results such as unemployment reduction and economy growth. However, according to the forecasts, the GDP growth for 2013 will be lower than in the previous year (table 1).

On the other hand, we have the Euro zone. The austerity policies have adversely impacted in the economy growth and employment. The countries of this region will still face negative rates in GDP for 2013 (table 1). In fact, only from 2014 better results (although not encouraging) will be perceptible. We have to take into account the poor performance of economies from the South of Europe. For instance, the projections of the World Economic Outlook (WEO) for Spain and Italy establish a contraction near to 2% in 2013. This trend won’t help to reduce the high unemployment rate in these countries. Is the sunlight as strong as the leaders try to point out? I don’t think so.

Global GDP Growth Projections 2014-2018What about the future? You just have to look at the figure 1.  According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) forecast, in the next four year only the Euro zone and Japan will grow under 2.0%. That is quite disappointing, especially when you see the evolution of the economy in other regions.

In May 2013 I wrote a post in which I wonder what the European leaders would do to change this trend. Apparently they have done nothing, yet they are   anxious to say the situation has improved. The facts demonstrate that years will have to pass before we can speak about recovery in the Euro zone.

World GDP forecast for 2013: do you know which places will grow?

2013 World GDP growth

In April we read and studied the latest World Economy forecasts released by some organizations.  Among them are the ones published by the International Monetary Fund (IFM) and the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Both reports agree that the global economy is beginning to recover after the slowdown in 2012. Well, that is quite important, and it is probably the signal we were expecting after so many years of crisis. However, it is just the start and the figures are strongly different from a place to another.

Please, have a look at the attached picture (click for larger view).  I took it from IFM outlook, and it clearly indentifies which, according to their forecast, will be the countries that will grow in 2013. The analysis is simple: red represents a growth under zero (decrease), while dark blue means a growth greater than or equal to 6%.  All the other colors are between those two.

It is, at least, a bit disappointing that most red is in Europe. Projections for 2013 reveal a GDP decrease from 0.3% (IMF) to 0.7% (EIU). This bad performance is due basically to countries from the South such as Spain, Italy and France. European authorities should consider if the austerity policies applied in the recent years were as successful as expected. I doubt it.

On the other side, in terms of geography and economy, is Asia. The forecasts for that region are encouraging with a 5.7% average increase, IMF reveals. There is the big Chinese engine which during the last years has pumped increase into the World activity. That country’s GDP will grow an 8% in 2013. Fantastic!. It is normal that all our companies have their eyes focused on that place wanting to be “infected” by its vigor.

Finally, I would like to mention the U.S. It seems that they are in the middle: they are not decreasing but they won’t grow as heavily as Asia will (2.1% according to EIU, 1.9% according to IMF).  The U.S. expansive policies revealed more effective for the recovery than the European ones. Two different ways to face the crisis with two different results.

Are we missing the growth train in Europe? Probably not, but we won’t travel in first class like we did until now, other countries took our seats. We need to monitor our Economy and our companies will need to look for the business in the countries where it is generated. Some years ago those countries could be next to ours, now those countries are far away. Let’s see how the year ends, and what we did to improve it…

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