Friday, January 25, 2008

From Worst to First?

I just got back from a wonderful trip to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand. We saw and experienced any number of amazing things, not to mention food that just seemed to get better and better.

One of the more amazing things was to experience the traffic in Saigon now known as Ho Chi Min city. The attached video with thanks to YouTube tells the story better than I could ever put it into words.

As you might imagine, the pollution that results from the literally millions of 90cc motorbikes is beyond belief as well as the fact that somehow they don't kill too many people a day, at least in town. They also have recently mandated that helmets are mandatory, so that will help some as well.

The point of all this other than amusement for this American tourist? In 2001 I was in Bankok, a city of similar size to Ho Chi Min city. Had I a video camera with me, I can assure you it would have looked very much like what you see here, pollution included. Everyone wore masks.

Stopping there on the way home on this trip, I was very much struck by the fact that the number of motorbikes appeared to have been reduced by what I would estimate to be 85% maybe more and the pollution along with it.

I never would have thought it could be done, but somehow the Thai government got it done.

There may be some hope yet.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Growing Business Link

Over the years many executives I have talked with have told me that the most valuable advice and counsel they have received has come from the chance to discuss the challenges they face with their peers. Thinking back on my own experiences, I would have to say that I agree with them.

I don't know why this has been the case except that I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I feel comfortable that many of us have the same concerns facing us be they issues having to do with our own product or service, or how we feel about the issues confronting us all as global business citizens. All I know is that we all have opinions and our personal and business experiences have done much to form those opinions.

It is with that in mind that I thought I would make those who are interested aware of another resource that I think would add to your ability to share ideas and information with your peers.

The name of the resource is Growing Business Link and in the interest of full disclosure is a collaboration between The Economist and ExecuNet. If you are interested in learning more about this new community you will find the About Us link on the site useful.

Like everything on the net the site is organic and most importantly, everyone has the opportunity to both participate and add to its knowledge, richness, and exchange of ideas. Cost? Nothing. The only investment required is your inquiring mind and willingness to share a point of view.

The following are some of the features you'll find:

Expert market insight and analysis

Direct access to business leaders and entrepreneurs worldwide who can help you tackle issues that are top-of-mind in high-growth, entrepreneurial organizations, in such areas as finance and operations; sales and marketing; technology; global security and mobility; and human capital management

Entry to by-invitation-only events for top business leaders in the international business community

Quarterly market intelligence surveys and top-line trend summaries of the results

The inside scoop on the hottest job markets for business leaders, and much more

Clearly the more who participate the richer the experience, so feel free to pass the information along.