FINLAND: Basic Income experiment authorized by Parliament

Kela, the Social Insurance Institution of Finland, announced on December 14 that the Finnish Parliament has passed the act authorizing an experiment of basic income. The experiment is set to begin on January 1, 2017.

For a few years, my heart tells me the Universal Basic Income is the only way forward. It’s the same feeling I had, when we started the Herculean cooperation as a more sustainable way of doing business. The capitalists in this world warned me that it was better to started a “limited corporation” to “keep the power” (which has proven to be complete rubbish).

What fuels that feeling?

  • Taxes (hidden or not) raise at ridiculous rates for the middle class, which makes it virtually impossible for these people to start a venture around their idea. Instead they all have to do jobs they don’t like, with two people, killing their personal lifes.
  • Burn-out rates are exploding. I still meet people who think it’s a “fad”. It’s not. By the way: we see a lot of burn-outs in Financial Institutions. The values of the employees don’t match the values of the Financial Institutions anymore.
  • Individualism and polarisation keeps rising. I think we can all agree they are not a good thing. People become jealous, hate it when somebody is succesfull…
  • Digital disprution improves our way of life, but reduces the number of available jobs. I believe we need even more disruption to gain our quality of life back.
  • The number of people on the planet is exploding and huge economical migrations are ungoing in our backyard.

When it comes to the Universal Basic Income, you hear the same capitalists yell about the risks:

  • People will become lazy: I don’t believe a basic income will lead to more lazyness, on the contrary. Every Human Resource Manager will tell you that money is not a motivator. It’s purpuse that motivates them. People will do things they are good at, without having to worry about making money. It will unleash a lot of talent which isn’t unleashed today. The people who want to be entrepreneur will pay a lot less taxes to support the current system, and will thus create more job opportunities.
  • It will kill innovation: on the contrary. People will use their full potential to experiment without being scared of losing money.
  • Companies won’t find people who want to work: the number of jobs is decreasing, so the number of people who want to work will increase. On top of that, companies will be able to invest more in the best people – because of less taxes. Working will become a lot more fun.
  • It’s unaffordable: many expert studies show the opposite. The RSA has calculated it would only require 1% extra GDP. I also believe that people will spend more, as they are sure they will have money every month and don’t have to save for “dark times”.

I believe the rewards are better than the risks. Think about it.



“Focus”, one of the 4 words in my personal mantra. A crucial one. Hope I don’t have to convince you that a lack of progress is unhealthy. Progress boosts people’s motivation.

Here’s a thought for you. Do you as a leader keep track of progress? Or do you mainly keep track of setbacks?

Terese Amabile, who is Edsel Bryant Ford Professor of Business Administration and a Director of Research at Harvard Business School, adds in “The Progress Principle” an interesting angle: it’s crucial to know how to handle setbacks, because they have a more powerful negative impact (2 to 3 times more) than progress has a positive impact.

The Power of Progress


Convinced that progress is crucial? How come that the majority of people fail in this area?

By failure I mean:

  • Big dreams, no execution.
  • Lots of inspiration, no transpiration.
  • Big responsibilities, no accountability.
  • Lots of promises, no progress.
  • Overpromises, under delivery.
  • Huge ambitions, no matches won.
  • Big salaries and bonuses, no results.
  • Doing lots of stuff, but not doing anything good.
  • Not willing to go the extra mile when the going gets tough.

It’s funny to see that the majority of people are convinced they are focused when in fact it’s the complete opposite. As a true leader, you just know who’s authentic and who’s not. When you confront people about a lack of progress and you get the “big excuses” and the “it wasn’t me statements”, you just know…

I confess: I hate excuses and I can’t hide it. Why should I accept it as a leader? Happy to be called “a difficult person” in that area. There’s no other option. I have to delight all stakeholders and you really can’t do that without focus.

But I’ve got great news for everyone who wants to work with me, you know, “the difficult person”: if you are ready for it, I’m always available to help you focus (and I can be very nice to people who do)!