Hamish McRae in Estonia

Last night I heard Hamish McRae speak about a few economic success stories at a BECC event. Ostensibly this was a book promotion speech but nonetheless it was useful and there were some good take outs related to common ingredients for success:

Cool ideas come from everywhere –big and small

Market matters – ignore it and you die. The way people signal what they want to do is important.
(I would add from internet marketing perspective that search trending and keyword demand are good examples of listening to the market)

Community matters – easy to break rather than recreate.

A thoughtful government can be helpful (Hamish thinks Estonian government has done a good job btw. You can read an article he wrote earlier today here: Hamish McRae: Estonia is a model of restraint)

But the most important point to “grok” is this I felt:

Organisations and companies must create a sense of mission so it can be handed on to the “next generation”. He made this point on slides by repeating. “No plan but a vision that is handed on”.

He also said that his new book (plug: on sale in Apollo Bookshop in Tallinn from next week and called…What works) could have used the Estonian ID Card system as an example but he did not know (enough) about it in time.

Another point he made that I could identify with was:
Just because it looks like a mess, it does not mean it is one (ref: Mumbai slum, Edinburgh festival, my desk)

When it came to question time I managed to squeeze in two.
1. If the world is flat and access to opportunity is reaching everyone then how important is it for organisation (people) to really master the internet (for business)?

Hamish: It’s vital, absolutely essential.
(hear hear)

2. Are dead cats bouncing? Once government stimulae in Europe are exhausted do you really economic growth or will we hit a double dip (recession)?

Hamish: On the balance of probability there will be a double dip. It is most likely. I foresee sustainable growth from 2012-2017.

My only disappointment was that in the after event informal chat Hamish made it clear he had no passionate desire to see the Home nations football matches return !

Personally I would love to see Scotland v England again as a regular fixture.
No one is perfect but its clear when it comes to “global economics” that Hamish knows his stuff.

PS Hamish is keynoting an event at NASDAQ OMX today in Tallinn.

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