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gennaio 2013 by:

Non sentivo l’urgenza di leggere un articolo di Fortune firmato Michael Porter: forse perché annunciato in copertina, messianicamente, “How to Fix America”. Ma un pezzo di presentazione così descriveva l’autore: “He has influenced more executives, and more nations, than any other business professor on earth. Now he and an all-star team aim to rescue the U.S. economy”; nonché come “the most famous and influential business professor who has ever lived”. Questo non bastando, anche come “the all-time greatest strategy guru. Businesspeople aren’t  the only ones who speak Porter’s language. Leaders of nations, regions and cities use his ‘diamond model’ to frame their plans for becoming more competitive. Environmental policymakers apply the Porter hypothesis. Health care reformers study his work on transforming that broken industry. Now Porter aims to change the conversation on another vast topic: American competitiveness”.

Legittimamente Fortune additava anche i profili prodigiosi dell’ascesa di Michael Porter: “Eight years after graduating from high school he was teaching at the world No.1 business school. He holds a University Professorship at Harvard, the highest honor the school can bestow, held by about 1% of the faculty; it means he isn’t tethered to any particular school within Harvard, but can roam across the entire university, wherever his interests lead him”. Manco a dirlo in un paese anglosassone, “sports were the center of his existence as a kid, and at Monmouth Regional High School in New Jersey he was an all-state football and baseball player. At Princeton, where he majored in aeronautical engineering, he made the NCAA All-America golf team and graduated first in his class”. Infine, “at 65 Porter looks 55 and has more energy than the average 35-year old”.

A questo punto, coronata la grandezza accademica del Nostro coll’eccellenza del palmares nel football, baseball e golf, a tutto disdoro di Pico della Mirandola, non era istintivo chiedermi se Fortune annunciava il Prof. Porter e non piuttosto il Superuomo di Nietzsche, oppure Prometeo, oppure direttamente Jupiter padre e re degli Dei? O magari piuttosto l’Eroe (curiosamente denominato Il Lavoratore, oppure l’Operaio) concepito dalla geniale teogonia di Ernst Junger? Non era obbligatorio che leggessi l’epocale articolo di Michael Porter?

L’ho letto e, per cominciare, ho appreso da così alta autorità che gli americani “have a tremendous goodwill and influence. People listen, and we have to take advantage of that”. Un importante, parrebbe, capitale d’avviamento. Ora, tutti sappiamo che gli USA non vanno presi sottogamba, però da qualche tempo, magari dai mishaps  della guerra d’Indocina, o se si preferisce dalle prodezze industriali dell’Asia, Giappone prima, Corea, Cina Indonesia Malaysia Vietnam dopo, ci eravamo disabituati dal delirare per gli Stati Uniti. Il franco rilancio nazionalista del prof. Porter non può non sorprendere per originalità e coraggio. Ulteriore ragione perché anche voi vi tuffiate nel pensiero di Porter.

Una delle cui strutture portanti è il concetto, nelle parole del Nostro, che “every firm draws on the business environment in the community where it operates. When a firm improves the community, it  often boosts its own profitability, while also advancing the prospects of other U.S.-based businesses”. Altra idea-forza: ” The U.S. is competitive to the extent that firms operating here can compete successfully in the global economy while supporting high and rising living standards for the average American”. La mission che il nietzschiano di Harvard assegna alle aziende statunitensi promana dallo stesso, costruttivo patriottismo: “Some companies are getting far more pro-active. They’re partnering with educational institutions and providing curricular guidance, so school produce workers these companies would love to hire. Now sophisticated companies are finding innovative ways to upgrade their U.S. supplier networks (…) Innovation accounts for a large fraction of growth in national productivity, and the knowledge gained by one firm frequently spills over the others”.

Il famoso scritto, degno di Mosé, va avanti di questo passo. Però gli ultimi tre paragrafi presentano qualche interesse in più:

“We’re at a turning point for American business and for America. Our competitiveness is declining while trust in business erodes. Those developments are not independent. With companies moving operations abroad as the business environment weakens, and reporting strong profits even as opportunities for Americans diminish, a dangerous dynamics emerges that shows itself in America’s dysfunctional political discourse. Trust in business declines, U.S. policies turn against business, companies leave America, and trust erodes further. Business has contributed to the problem. In failing to revitalize their U.S.-based operations and communities, companies are undermining their own opportunities for productivity and growth. It’s time for business to lead in restoring U.S. competitiveness rather than wait for Washington. As business steps up to this broader role, it will turn the tide of cynicism that threatens the very core of America’s prosperity.”

Veniamo a noi. Ingaggiare il Nietzschiano di Harvard difficilmente fornirebbe al vincitore del 25 febbraio idee operative per rilanciare la nostra competitiveness. C’è il pericolo che Fortune, proiettando Porter come un arcidemiurgo, abbia fatto come Hollywood e i grandi media USA, per i quali i Marines e i Navy Seals sono i soldati più vittoriosi al mondo (benché a volte intralciati da vietcong e talebani). Il soverchio magnificare ha i suoi rischi.

Anthony Cobeinsy