Changing Your Business Model?
Quasi-socialist France is going broke. The public trough is empty and I'm nervous.
Prior to the strike mayhem (see IN THE NEWS to the right), we bought and paid for airline tickets from Paris to Philadelphia in mid-December. How long will pandemonium prevail? Will we get home on time or, like France, will we go broke being stuck in Paris with the euro on the rise?
For generations, the French have considered it to be their God-given right to retire at age 60. In order to stay afloat, the Sarkozy government has upped the retirement age to 62.
That's not all. When a woman friend in Paris lost her job, she was eligible to receive the equivalent of 57.4 percent of her salary for up to three years, courtesy of the state. She had a job offer, but opted to double-dip—take freelance work while collecting unemployment. Plus, of course, she has universal health care, as do all French.
The only solution is for the government to legislate some major changes in its business model, and the citizenry is up in arms. It's a mini-revolution.
The point is when upheaval is necessary—in business, health, education or government—it is imperative to alert in advance those who are affected and make a powerful and persuasive argument for the change.
In the case France, the message to workers is simple:
France is running out of money. If you don't go along with this change, your pension will be pennies on the euro. What's more, your grandchildren will be forced to work until they are 75 and will hate you forever.
PHL—SFO and Return
Earlier this month we flew to and from San Francisco for the annual Direct Marketing Association Conference and Exhibition on a plain-Jane US Airways Airbus 320. No movies, no sound system, no Wi-Fi or BlackBerry allowed, no in-flight hot meal service.