Thursday, July 24, 2008

Stuck at lower needs?

According to Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory on human motivation, people move up to higher needs once their lower needs are met. Lower needs refer to satisfying basic human and survival instincts like shelter, safety, hunger, and sex. Higher needs are esteem, self-actualisation, respect for and by others and so on.

According to this establishment figure, staying at the top requires people who are still hungry...

July 24, 2008
Key to staying No. 1 - young people who are hungry

IT IS a uniquely-worded warning against complacency, and former Economic Development Board (EDB) chief Philip Yeo reiterated it yesterday: Don't sit down and fan yourselves.

At the Pioneers Series dialogue, a quote that he had used previously was read out to him, much to the amusement of the audience.

'When you become No.1 you say you have arrived,' the former top civil servant had once said.

'Once you arrive, everybody laughs, everybody sits down and fans themselves.

'When people are fanning themselves, congratulating themselves, praising themselves - 'Oh, we have arrived', 'How good we are' - that's when you get the 'arrive and fall' of nations.'

Mr Yeo elaborated on that comment yesterday, a pun on the phrase 'rise and fall of nations'.

'We are here today, but we may not be here tomorrow. When I travel around, I always take a look at what's happening in India, in Vietnam...

'We did it, they can do it. We're No.1 today, yes. We've been No.1 for 10 years in a row, yes. But don't forget they are now close, the gap is narrowing.'

This is very standard and dated establishment talk. The goal to be No. 1. But i think people these days have moved on & are instead thinking deeper about what it means to be No. 1. Does being at the top benefit them and meet their needs? Are theirs lower or higher needs?

What about the price to pay for being No. 1? What if the benefits of being No.1 are not fairly distributed and only benefits a small elite group?

As to how Singapore can keep up, Mr Yeo turned to the word 'hunger', a term he used many times throughout the session.

He said: 'Our people must realise that being No.1 is very temporal.

'We better keep on honing that...Make sure that our young people are hungry. If our young people are not hungry enough, bring in hungrier ones from overseas. Make them feel hungry, increase the hungriness index.'

So his solution to complacency is to find/import people who are hungry? Wah lao this really make me laugh hahaha! I cannot believe his thinking is so simplistic and narrow. Sure you can always import "hungry" foreigners from less developed countries. But what happens after you have fed their hunger? Wont that be the same? And why discriminate against old people?? Old people cannot be hungry meh?

So you treat people like production units? Use and chuck? This really says a lot of his mentality and perspective on people development (more like lack of) sia.. very old economy leh ~ hehehe

Undeniably SG as a society has reached a level of affluence. We have become quite well fed for sure. But so too have many others before us. Have these other affluent societies become less hungry? Japan, South Korea, many western nations. How come they can continue to innovate, grow, and surpass despite being well fed? Obviously the "hunger" we are talking about is not those of lower needs but higher ones.

When it comes to higher needs, I say the SG society is suffering from malnutrition. As a result people are moving to more open societies to feed their higher needs. Any coincidence these societies tend to be more open ones that have a healthy respect for human rights, freedom, tolerance for dissent, and healthy political competition?

Hmm... i think Yeo Yo man don't understand any of it leh... Is he still stuck at lower needs? For example Sg's ministers are the best paid in the world, so they cannot possibly be hungry right? And they are old too! So by Yeo's logic shouldn't these ministers be replaced by others who are young and more hungry? LOL

P.S. Anyway Yo yo likes to threaten and sue bloggers one, i wonder what needs of his will that fulfill? Hahahaha!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I believe it is the same in the work place, especially in the age of the knowledge economy. A company where the management style is autocratic, not transparent, have no sense of accountability.. any self-respecting staff, especially the good ones, will become unmotivated and leave no matter how well you pay them. Leaving the dead wood behind.