We are among the most creative in the world!
Bloomberg ranks Sweden as No. 2, only beaten by South Korea, among the world's most innovative countries! We are also geographically in a progressive region, together with Germany (5), Denmark (6), Finland (9) and Norway (14). Isn't it amazing !? During the beginning of the 21st century, we have had great export successes in creative industries such as software game and music. In both these branches, Sweden is the absolute top tier. The Nordic decker genre, called abroad Nordic Noir, is now the best-selling crime genre in, for example, the UK. Last week wrote Johan Staël von Holstein on Facebook about how Sweden, according to him, has finally become the entrepreneurial country he has long dreamed of.
But we Swedes are world renowned for something else in the creative field as well. Something that is not as well known in the broad masses: We are very successful in Management Innovation, briefly, how we develop the governance and management of our companies and operations to be effective in a constantly changing world. For example, we have Svenska Handelsbanken (SHB), which already in the 70s wound up its budget as a guiding instrument (see Beyond Budgeting). SHB has also shown great interest in its progressive incentive program Octagon. We have large companies such as SKF and Scania that have been internationally praised for their successful production models, both of which are based on constant process development. For example, SKF's CEO Tom Johnstone was awarded the first European in 2006 ISSSP Premier Leadership Award for their success with Sex Sigma at SKF. At Ekan Management, we are committed to helping our customers succeed with their management innovation - the development of forward-looking management and governance.
Is it true that a few have succeeded well and that we others unjustly take care of the honor? No, I say. And this is important: We can all take on the honor of being part of developing an open society that is the very foundation of creativity. We are broadly engaged in a leadership that is characterized by prestige and involvement. And we are, after all, we read about ourselves in the newspapers and watch TV, open to new ways of thinking and dare to test new ones.
If Sweden during the second half of the 20th century was characterized by The industrial wonder, you can safely say that Sweden's 21st century has so far been characterized by The creative wonder. Sadly, it feels like this has not become part of the Swedish self-image yet. That's why I think it's time to take a hit we Swedes are among the most creative in the World! And it is very good, because it is something we will need to be in the future, it is creative. Let's do it to our comparative advantage, as economists call it. The future seems bright!