I recently read that the Executive Yuan is mulling over the exact number of holidays to be scheduled for next year (“Officials deny plans to give 115 days off next year,” Aug. 19, page 3).
As in the case of this year and previous years, they plan to give an entire week off (Lunar New Year) and several three-to-four long weekends with make-up days scheduled the following weekend, so that the government and businesses do not lose out.
While I will save my argument on the practice of making up for lost work for another day, I wonder if the powers that be in the Executive Yuan would not consider changing these make-up days to the preceding weekends of such holidays. While it is great to have extra time off, no one I know seems to truly enjoy the holiday because they know they will have to work 13 of the next 14 days to make up for it.
Would it not be sensible to schedule the make-up days beforehand so that when the holiday does arrive, people can really enjoy themselves because they’ve just worked 13 of the last 14 days and feel they deserve a bit of a holiday?
Dreams of innovation
In response to your editorial “Innovative thinkers required,” (Aug. 20, page 8):
You call for innovative thinking from a culture that aggressively discourages it and one which rewards those who do not make mistakes rather than the few with the ability to experiment until something is discovered.
Really, where do you expect the innovation you call for to come from and who would pay for it?
Tax rebates will not create innovation within companies or government agencies that discourage it as the core of their operational methodology.
If you truly want innovation, change the model. Support a process that will result in innovation.
I first visited Taiwan in the year 2000 and was asked to speak on innovation. During my visit I met dozens of competent professionals from various industries, all of whom were searching for the conceptual magic that would result in innovation. Back then, I saw vision, energy and hope for a future founded on such techniques. When I returned in 2011, I discovered that the dream had disappeared.
Picture an environment which fosters growth and innovation. It is an environment that encourages the best in every field to experiment, to look ahead. Failure is seen as an important stepping-stone to future success. Those who never make mistakes contribute nothing to innovation.
Create an environment where this can happen. Staff it with scientists, academics, and managers from industry, universities and government. Stay focused on the result you want. Strive for innovative techniques and processes in any and all areas. Make the results of studies available to all Taiwanese companies who support the project with their staff.
Surely what I said here is somewhat simplistic but it can be the core of something important for Taiwan. However, it needs people who have the will-power to make it happen. Do such people exist?