NEWS + ANALYSIS
MATT WARNER

NEWS + ANALYSIS

OVERCOMING THE OUTSIDER’S DILEMMA: CAN PHILANTHROPISTS HELP THE DEVELOPING WORLD?

September 6, 2017 | by Matt Warner

Today’s top-down, economic development aid model is unavoidably flawed. The nature of economic development requires idiosyncratic solutions that can’t be successfully designed or administered by outsiders. Instead, locally grown solutions aimed at transforming the institutional environment in favor of market growth, primarily through securing economic rights for the poor, represent the best chance for accelerating the pace of poverty alleviation throughout the world. For outsiders, this represents a serious dilemma. Is there a way to help without interfering? A new strategy offered by Atlas Network successfully combines the resources of philanthropy with the locally grown research and advocacy agenda of independent, market-oriented think tanks working to strengthen the institutions that foster growth for the world’s poor. Benchmarking their efforts to global indices like the “Doing Business” report published by the World Bank, those think tanks are making measurable progress. The results are significant. According to new research commissioned by Atlas Network, a five percent increase on the “Doing Business” scale represents a 1-percentage point reduction in poverty.

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PULLING THE ANDON CORD: USING TEAMS TO MAKE DECISIONS

March 16, 2017 | by Matt Warner

In the early 1980s, the workers at a General Motors plant in California had become so disillusioned with their jobs that they sometimes sabotaged the quality of the cars on purpose. The plant began to perform so poorly that the company shut it down. That failure, though, is only the first part of a great turnaround story. In a strange twist, two years later GM found itself partnering with Toyota to reopen the plant. This time, it became a top performer despite a staff comprising mostly the same workers. What changed?

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CONTRACTING FOR SUCCESS

February 27, 2017 | by Matt Warner

A few years ago, I was frustrated with a contractor’s failure to meet even the most basic terms of our agreement. I had not heard from him for an extended period despite sending emails to see what was happening. When we finally connected, we were both frustrated (I had stopped payment, which usually gets someone’s attention). As I explained my reasons, pointing out his failure to meet the terms of the agreement, he replied, “OK, well, frankly, I never even read that agreement.” I was floored.

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