Oh dear. It looks like Belgium may be snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Just as it posts a second quarter economic growth rate higher than Germany, France and the UK, and seems to be ticking along nicely without a government, it starts talking once again about forming a new coalition. For the past 15 months it has been fine without, but now it wants to bring back the politicians… This is at a time when all the other European politicians are drifting back from their holidays, still refusing to show any leadership on the drastic and ever-worsening eurozone situation.

Is the world now too complicated for the traditional model of government? Do we need something else? Should we look to the business world to help smarten things up and get the European economy back on the path of growth?


What about looking at the world of IT? It seems that algorithms are all the rage in areas such as information search, weather prediction, travel planning and even shopping logistics. Maybe some maths genius can come up with a simple formula that can make governments work better for us?

Or what about the clever accountant who came up with the concept of the shared service centre (SSC)? This is something that seems to still be very much in vogue in international business. Let us set an accountant loose on governments with an updated and adapted SSC model. With the benefits of shared services claiming to include a 25% to 50% cost reduction, increased control, improved processes and an enhanced service culture, this is just the ticket for our governments, which are drowning in deficits and failing to slim their bloated bureaucracies.

We certainly need something to happen in Europe, maybe by drawing on the intelligence in some of our leading FDI industries, we can obtain a lot less government and a lot more business!  

Douglas Clark is director of Location Connections, an FDI consultancy for smart companies and winning locations. E-mail: douglas@locationconnections.com