Re-floating the economy is a health and wellbeing emergency
Dr. Iain MacRitchie
There will be more COVID waves to navigate but to avoid absolute devastation we need to find ways to re-float the economy, come what may. We have to reconcile conflicting priorities by recognising how vital our economy is to our health and wellbeing. Our most disadvantaged are relying on us, our young people especially so. Critically it can and must be done to ensure those that benefit are the many and not the few.
We’ve talked about the way to build back better in our economic recovery. A new definition - Soconomics – with economic and social policy two sides of the same coin. Ensuring we are socially inclusive, have genuine unrestricted social mobility and a culture where everyone wants to make a social contribution makes complete financial sense. There are already ways we can and very effective examples. However it all has to start with economic success. We must start with creating wealth as we can’t share what we don’t have. There is no such thing as limitless borrowing. Irrespective of political orientation, borrowing comes down to maths and the confidence of the lender.
We use intellectual statements and a plethora of acronyms on job creation, ignore a rapidly increasing £2 trillion of debt, talk sophisticated ways necessary to rebuild the economy. It’s time we have a simple and focused approach that is actually at the heart of all success. Economic success is entirely about creating products and services that people want to buy, nationally and internationally. It is not necessary to have a business degree to understand the basics of business and creating wealth and opportunity.
Economic success is entirely about creating products and services that people want to buy, nationally and internationally.
Why Businesses Exist
In reality, business only has two reasons to exist. First, to satisfy customers. Second, to generate profit to share and reinvest. The truth is, if a business isn’t growing, it is just a matter of time before it dies. I’ve had the privilege of leading 18 different organisations that had challenges and have advised over 100 others around the world. For any turnaround or transformation, the focus, energy and commitment has to be on growing sales. Our economic recovery must be about supporting and encouraging companies and industries to be better, sell more and export more. Businesses, business leaders and entrepreneurs have to be at the heart of all recovery plans.
Scotland was most successful when we created products and services that the world wanted. Every successful country has applied the same principle. This needs entrepreneurial creativity and ideas that translate into business. We can’t borrow or expect words to get ourselves out of the COVID hole.
Businesses, business leaders and entrepreneurs have to be at the heart of all recovery plans.
Once we prioritise economic recovery, we then have the foundations that will underpin the creation of opportunities for everyone and enable us to be true to our social values. Then, and only then, can we build back better. By combining economic success with social policies, we will show the world a new and sustainable way. In the process they will want to buy more from us. It becomes circular. Let’s make this our fuller definition of a circular economy.
Asking the Right Questions
In every organisations I work for, we ban the word assumption. If you don’t know the facts, go and find out. To ensure economic recovery, ask those that know how to. For MCR Pathways, that is a very current issue as so much of our young people policies do not yet take the views of young people into account. This drove us to survey over 1,000 of the country’s most disadvantaged young people. We now have detailed insight on what the impact of COVID has been, how they think school should return, as well as the support they need. Profound insights, which can ensure key decisions have a far greater chance of success.
In every organisations I work for, we ban the word assumption. If you don’t know the facts, go and find out.
We are at a crossroads and choices to make as a country. Good news is the right decisions are common sense and if we follow the basics of economic success we will be in a strong position.
First and foremost let’s focus on encouraging business and selling more products and services. Find common ground with our neighbours, be outward facing and inclusive, build relationships and bridges. We can use and share the proceeds wisely. For every business let that be the focus. For public and third sector let's support our communities and ensure that those most need the support, get it.