• 30 September 2013

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    Category : Opinion

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    Three reflections and a see you later

    "My hat goes off to most of the experts I’ve worked with, for their ethics and hard work."

    In October, the FIIAPP will have a new director. I would like to wish good luck to him and all the people I have worked with during my time at the Foundation.
    When you change jobs, the best thing to do is to try to learn about your new responsibilities quickly and efficiently. But when you also change industries, as was my case, this efficiency must be combined with careful reflection regarding your new environment, so that urgent issues do not lead you astray from what is most important. Today, to serve as parting words, I wanted to share three of these reflections with all of you who read our newsletter.

    The public and private realms are often considered from a certain distance and with reservations. For me, coming from the business world, the FIIAPP’s most important work is helping other countries in modernizing their administrations by reinforcing Spain’s role in the rest of the world, proving that in some areas, our Administration is the best. In other words, we must demonstrate that the Spanish Administration often contributes to Spain’s competitiveness through the cost-quality ratio of its services, processes, technology and training. The Administration makes many other relevant contributions, and is also an important secret weapon for Spain’s competitiveness. We should disseminate this idea and portray our civil servants as working among the world’s elite, in contrast to the very grey image that is so widespread among our citizens and institutions.

    I also think it is important for all industries and professional sectors to get a little fresh air every once in a while. I have never seen another industry like the cooperation sector in my life, where people identify so much with what they’re doing. My hat goes off to most of the experts I’ve worked with, for their ethics and hard work. But at the same time, the world of cooperation is rather closed. Unfortunately this is not so strange, as I have also experienced this when working in a family-run company and in the fields of science and innovation. It’s quite easy to construct an idyllic image of the successes and the social role played by different industries, but the trend of “inbreeding” causes each industry to be very uncritical of their own mistakes, which often leads to inefficiency. I get the same impression from the Public Administration. In my modest opinion, the more TAC’s there are in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the more diplomats in the Ministry of Economy, and the more members of the State’s engineering organizations in the field of Health Care, the better our public administration will be.
    As in other industries, we don’t really sell ourselves very well. The way we work in cooperation projects and the way we relate with other governments and partners is highly valued wherever we go. The same cannot be said of most of our European partners and associates from other developed countries. I sincerely believe that our style and the way we are seen by other collaborating countries can help improve our role on an international level and contribute to streamlining international laws with ours. This is just my personal opinion, but I’m sure that if a study was conducted on this topic, these ideas would be demonstrated as true. Of course, it is often difficult to convince Spaniards of these ideas, especially in terms of image and marketing, and this is why we are not able to make the most of it.

    I would like to close by thanking all the people in the FIIAPP and their commitment to the President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, for the opportunity to have been part of an institution that is as unknown as it is committed to millions of people.

    Javier Quintana
    Director of the FIIAPP

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.