National Thai Day today celebrates the rise of Thailand as one of the relatively thriving Southeast Asian ‘Tigers’. And their progress has many of the same lessons about balancing Leadership and Management as the more developed countries have experienced in the past decade.
Michael Sheridan’s piece ‘Floods sink Thais’ global factory’ in the Sunday Times (paywalled) examines the fervid rush to become an industrial power and how it led to their being succumbed to crippling floods, with a higher economic cost than the Boxing Day Tsunami…
- “Shocked and saddened, the Thais are beginning to question the rush to industrialisation that allowed rivers to run dry, canals to be concreted over and unrestrained property development to blight their landscape. A country formed over millennia by the flow of its rivers through rich agricultural land has lost the natural drainage that kept floods to a yearly, but manageable level. Poor enforcement of zoning laws and rampant corruption in real estate planning permission did the rest. ‘Thailand built the industrial estates and showpieces but did not build the roads, railways and drainage infrastructure that was needed,” commented Japan’s Nikkei business daily, lamenting the losses to Japanese investors.’
Leaders build industrial estates, Managers build infrastructure.