The Finnish model: 8 recommendations to deal with the current crisis

In a recent article in the French business newspaper, Les Echos, Jacques Hubert-Rodier explains how Finland can be a model for other countries struggling to deal with the current financial, economic and industrial crisis. As some may remember, Finland already experienced a melt down of its banking sector in the early 90s and the Finnish government was forced to take some very radical steps to save the Finnish banking sector & economy. In the article, the author quotes the former Finnish prime minister, Esko Aho, who makes 8 recommendations as a result of the experience:

1) Adopt a “worst case” scenario. In other words, prepare for the worst.
2) Define an appropriate strategy to deal with this worse case scenario
3) Fight to improve education and research & development because education is the foundation of future success and the basis of innovation
4) Consider the crisis as an opportunity to reform and improve and not only as a threat.
5) Expect higher employee mobility and plan accordingly.
6) Be patient because results will only show long term. There’s no quick fix.
7) State intervention in the banking sector must be short and sharp.
8) Governments adopting points 1 to 7 must prepare to lose the next elections.

What is striking is that learning and education remains one of the key drivers of progress even in a downturn as demonstrated by the consistent high performance attained by Finnish young people in the OECD’s Pisa studies on education levels throughout the developed world.

So all European leaders must drive the message home that life long learning and continuous education has never been more relevant than today and this represents a huge opportunity for all, provided that educational systems and organizations are willing to hear the message. Why lay off workers from industry and pay them to do nothing when you can train them to adopt new processes and techniques, using existing infrastructure and corporate facilities?

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