I listened to the CEO of Matrade (the Malaysia Trade Promotion Council) a corporation of the Ministry of International Trade & Industry, as he spoke about selling our country's design services and innovation. Not an easy task, I gathered.
The main outcome is to promote Malaysia as a hub for business creation and innovation, not just a halfway house offering cheap labor and posing as an assembly plant where basic components come together and get shipped out plus or minus the "Made in Malaysia" stamp.
How to place value on creativity; and how to recognize those who create as builders and key contributors to the economy
How to benchmark our creativity with the rest of the world's
How to measure and define the various forms of creativity and their part in contributing to our economy - design, business innovation, infrastructure, thought and approach - to keep up with our trade obligations as well as the advanced methods of high income economies
To my mind Malaysia's approach to success must be holistic. It must start from the very top and cascade down to involve and include all types and all levels of society - not just our education system but the developers of thinking processes, not just architects and designers but also consumers of these.
To start is to go back to basics - we are built for improvement. So measure --- how much are we improving, based upon what our intentions are, guided by what we are capable of, what we have, what we need, how we show the improvements we make, how we handle the improvements we don't make.
Isn't the first step always to begin from where we are --- before we can truly say how far we have gone? Compared of course, to where we need to be?