Friedman believes that to truly understand a countrys

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of a nation that went from “the sick man of Europe to the rich man” by addressing these issues. Friedman believes that to, truly understand a country’s economic performance, one must also consider its culture. Friedman argues that open cultures, which are best able to adopt global best practices and willing to change, versus closed cultures, which promote tradition and national solidarity, have the best chance for success in the flat world. Finally, Friedman observes that even when nations get it right, reform wholesale, reform retail, maintain good governance, infrastructure, and education, as well as glocalize, some proceed in a sustained manner while others do not. Friedman calls the missing element “the intangible things.” Friedman boils the intangibles down to two basic elements: a willing society and leaders with vision (USC Institute of Creative Technologies, 2007). Friedman provides a comparison between Mexico and China to show how Mexico failed and China succeeded. Companies and the Flat World Friedman imparts an observation he has made while researching this book, which is that “the companies that have managed to grow today are those that are most prepared to change.” Friedman shares seven rules he has learned from these companies. Rule #1 is “When the world goes flat and you are feeling flattened, reach for a shovel and dig inside yourself. Don’t try to build walls.” Rule #2 is “And the small shall act big...” Rule #3 is “And the big shall act small...” Rule #4 is “The best companies are the best collaborators.” Rule #5 is that “In a flat world, the best companies stay healthy by getting regular chest X-rays and then selling the results to their
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THE WORLD IS FLAT 5 clients.” Rule #6 is that “the best companies outsource to win, not to shrink.” Rule #7 is that “Outsourcing is not just for Benedict Arnolds. It’s also for idealists.” (USC Institute of Creative Technologies, 2007). Geopolitics and the Flat World Friedman explores some of the reasons why flattening could go wrong. He sets out to answer the following questions: “What are the biggest constituencies, forces, or problems impeding this flattening process, and how might we collaborate better to overcome them?” The groups of people for whom the world might not flatten are comprised of those who are “too sick,” “too disempowered,” and the “too frustrated.” Friedman notes that if the many people that live in the unflat world enter the flat world (as they are beginning to do) there will be an environmental crisis. He urges Americans to take seriously the damage they are wreaking on the environment through their waste (USC Institute of Creative Technologies, 2007). He believes it is in the U.S.’s best interest to collaborate with China and India to reduce energy consumption. In becoming the “Axis of Energy,” these nations could effectively disempower the “Axis of Evil.” Friedman also considers the surprising, important, and paradoxical effects flattening are having on culture around the world. Initially, Friedman says, there was concern that globalization was really “Americanization” in the form of American cultural imperialism. This is because
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