Advice for Greece: Don’t let a crisis go to waste — Phil Budden

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Phil Budden

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Phil Budden

From Fortune

Whether Greece stays in the Eurozone and accepts its bitter medicine or is one day forced to exit the single currency, the country’s future is usually regarded as bleak. Either course seems to promise years of hardship and privation for the Greek people.

From another perspective, though, one could see opportunity for Greece. “Never let a crisis go to waste,” is a quote attributed to Winston Churchill, who knew something about crises. Greece today has a chance to turn adversity into advantage. With change in the air, it will be easier for the country’s institutions, government leaders, and people to abandon some of the failed approaches of the past and to embark in new directions.

A strategy that has worked elsewhere and that Greece would be wise to consider is one based on innovation and entrepreneurship. To accomplish this, the country will need to gradually shift its focus away from its macroeconomic problems and toward the task of creating an innovation ecosystem. In such an endeavor, Greece fortunately has some valuable resources on which to draw.

No one doubts the entrepreneurial spirit of the Greek people. Greek-owned businesses, large and small, are found not only in Greece but also around the world. The Greek diaspora – which includes many entrepreneurs in innovation hubs like London – could be of great help in the country’s recovery at home. Also, as government jobs dwindle in Greece, individuals will be motivated to adopt an entrepreneurial approach and start their own businesses, some of which might become job-creating innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs).

Read the full post at Fortune.

Phil Budden is a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan, affiliated with the TIES Group.  

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