Hervé de Carmoy

Entreprise, Individual and State Leading to Change Publication date : January 1, 1999

The author believes that France is suffering from numerous ills, including inertia, demagogy, unemployment, corruption, corporotism, elitism, and a general withdrawal from the outside world. He also thinks that much more than clear-headedness and a desire for change are required if a cure is to be found. What is the best way of making the necessary changes? How have others gone about implementing those changes? He believes the business world provides an excellent model for learning how to deal with an ever-changing environment. The demands of competition, innovation, organisation and motivation have made businesses excellent laboratories for change. Using businesses as his model, the author lists the questions that should be addressed by organisations wishing to implement change: Where is the organisation heading? How can performance be mastered? When, where and how to intervene? The author provides many useful tips, illustrated with a host of concrete examples. Without determined individuals, it would be impossible to implement change in business. But before structures can be altered, people must evolve, while change must become a deeply rooted reflex in each individual. The advice given here should serve to actively implement all of those changes that are deemed necessary both in society as a whole and in the state. Models drawn from other nations, as well as from the business world, are also referred to. The author sees Britain’s revival and Japan’s decline as key cases that should be seriously examined, and he hopes that France will be able to learn from them in order to reply to the major challenge of the end of the century: How to speed up the process of change?

Hervé de Carmoy was formerly general director of the Midland Bank in London, managing director of the Société Générale in Belgium, and president of the BIMP. He is currently associate manager of the Rhône Group, a capital-development fund. He teaches international strategy at the Institut d’Etudes Politiques in Paris and is the author of Stratégie Bancaire and La Banque au XXIe Siècle.