Ok, so found myself on Quora again, where among several Q&A’s I browsed through, one in particular stood out.
How could Germany, in a span of 80 years (1914-2000s), lose a World War, get back in shape enough to start another one (in just 20 years), lose it again and then become one of the wealthiest nations?
And among the Answers, one Keith Hauser had this to say:
As an American who has lived in Germany for the last 30 years, the Germans have some traits that tend to make them successful economically.
1. They spend a lot of time and energy early-on in an enterprise to get well organized so that later they can reap the benefits of efficiency. You could call this concentrating on long-term goals rather than just on the short term. Many German companies are still able to compete globally even though Germany is a high-wage place, simply because they are so efficient.
2. They put high value on education and training. Similar to the Japanese, they push their kids to do well in school, and quickly hire outside tutors to support the kids when they need it.
3. They place a high value on consensus: the employees are very often part of the decision-making process, which goes a long way to creating labor peace. German management is willing to reward labor in order to support a collaborative atmosphere. They work together as partners, not as adversaries.
4. When push comes to shove, Germans are ready to place their own interests below that of society. They know that — in the end — they will be better off if they follow the rules. There is very little corruption and criminality, which siphons off so much energy in many societies.