Harvey Mackay: Morocco trip yields lessons that can apply anywhere

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Harvey Mackay: Morocco trip yields lessons that can apply anywhere

BY HARVEY MACKAY United Feature Syndicate

In December 2010, 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself. This street vendor had been rousted and humiliated once again by Tunisian police for hawking apples and pears out of a wheelbarrow. Bouazizi ignited more than himself. His death triggered the Arab Spring, a Twitter-driven revolution that engulfed Muslim nations in the Mediterranean in 2011.

Ten nations share the sand-swirled backdrop of the Sahara Desert, which has been the backdrop to much of the Arab Spring. This social earthquake has surmounted Tunisia, Egypt and Libya among others in the region. Meanwhile, the upheaval registered only modest tremors in Morocco. I’ve just returned from a Chief Executives Organization tour to Morocco. What we saw stirred confidence that change can be intelligently anticipated, even in tradition-rich Morocco. This land’s monarchy is one of the oldest on the planet. Executives should analyze the dynamics of the Arab Spring. It’s a case study of what can befall complacent bureaucracies – businesses included – in the lightning-speed world of Twitter and Facebook. Morocco’s course also merits study. It shows one way meaningful change can be achieved without casting a society into turmoil. King Mohammed VI rules over 32 million Moroccans. When he assumed the throne in 1999 upon his father’s death, he championed greater freedoms, especially for women, and disavowed the notion that he was a “sacred” being. Here are six pieces of take-home value: Dig your well before you’re thirsty Small villages have been a priority, and practical issues like water and electricity have commanded center stage. If you want to avert a groundswell, plant your feet firmly in reality.

Posted on June 10, 2012, in Arab Spring, Morocco News and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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