So what influences wealth creation in society today? Today it comes in form of economic growth, transnational companies, interconnected networks, knowledge and cultural entrepreneurship.
One sixth of the world’s population currently produces and consumes three quarters of global production and earns 75% of global income. And the 44 companies, part of the world’s 100 largest economic entities, own 11% of global GDP, placing them behind the largest 40 countries in terms of GDP. 146 top shareholders have the potential to control about 40% of transnational companies’ value (see Friday’s Insight on 30 August).
Dominant thought leadership is created predominantly within wealthy societies to create more wealth. Mostly they ignore the richness of alternate knowledge held by other, poorer societies unless proven by Western science. A beautiful example is modern Western neuroscience which is proofing 3000 year old ancient Eastern knowledge, namely to listen to your inner wisdom of thoughts, feelings and gut instincts when making decisions or life changes.
A society’s culture determines wealth creation. If there is a “spirit of enterprise, a set of stories or images in the culture that celebrates some form of entrepreneurial creativity, then economic development will more likely prosper.”
Cultural norms are a crucial determinator for encouraging entrepreneurship
and economic policy development. In an individualistic culture the norms are
within the framework of the law, in a collective culture they are dictated by
society itself. It is therefore not surprising that in Russia, where wealth was affiliated with political advantage within a Soviet totalitarian system, new wealth holders still experience a lack of trust. And in Australia, society has been dictated by Government since the foundation of White settlement, with red tape still being a cultural norm in Australian business. Understanding the popular culture and the story of entrepreneurship and wealth creation in a society is important for anyone wanting to export goods or services. This knowledge will help develop better business processes that generate rather than hinder wealth creation.
Wealth creation has changed over the centuries. What was possible yesterday has diminished and what is possible today will diminish. Wealth creation of the future might look like this: no longer based on individual wealth, but shared wealth - already starting with philanthropy and social enterprises; and a realisation that monetary wealth is not the only wealth - already occurring in developed countries, but will spread to developing countries who will continue to focus more on their collective rather than an individualistic culture. A pipedream? Let's see about it in 25 years.