Tigran Jrbashyan: for 30 years we have been building a “kingdom of crooked mirrors.” If we don’t think strategically, we can lose the country.

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YEREVAN, March 4. /ARKA/. Interview of Tigran Jrbashyan, Head of Management Advisory Services at Ameria Group of Companies, to ARKA and Novosti-Armenia news agencies within the framework of the special project “Armenia: there is a future!”.

– Many researchers say that humanity is facing a global crisis. Do you agree with this or something else awaits us?

T. Jrbashyan – In my opinion, the humanity has entered a period of a great turbulence. At large, we are going through the stage of self-cleansing and reassessment of most institutions. And this is happening in many, practically all areas, from simple human life, economic models, to scientific and military research. I think that humanity has entered a period of great turbulence and this period will last long enough.

– How long do you think it can last?

T. Jrbashyan – For the next 15-20 years we will be living in conditions of great and growing global and regional instability.

– Will the “isms” change over the years? Will something different appear, or will there be a transformation of what we have? Will we get а capitalism of a different form in 20 years, or will it be some other kind of relationship?

T. Jrbashyan – Most of the relations are anchored on more fundamental values ​​and foundations and, accordingly, something new can hardly be invented in this context. But what we mean by these definitions – capitalism and other “isms,” they will be completely different, this is a fact. I think that new “isms” will not emerge, but there will be something completely different from what we have now.

– You said that some changes will take place in the next 15-20 years, and that we will live in a period of turbulence. Why don’t Armenians think strategically and in advance? What is the problem, in particular, of modern Armenia? Is its root cause the independence that we got easily, or is there another reason?

T. Jrbashyan – Naturally, that factor is also present, but the problem is much deeper. I really don’t want to talk about such deep genetic features, but when you analyze it, you realize that for a huge number of centuries, during most of our existence as an ethnic group we were almost always part of some kind of large formations. There was the Byzantine Empire, there were the Roman Empire, the Ottoman, Persian, Russian empires. And we, as a rule, gave our right to make strategic decisions to these large formations, while we ourselves preferred to stay within this framework. When we had an independent state in one or another part of our historic homeland, we were unable to reach an internal consensus on the ways of its strategic development. We were unable to strengthen it institutionally, to strengthen it so as not to lose it eventually.

– So, we would give our decision-making right to the titular nation?

T. Jrbashyan – Well, it is hardly possible to speak of a titular nation in the Roman Empire. Let’s put it this way: we gave someone the right to make strategic decisions for us, but we ourselves preferred, within the framework of the emerging paradigm, an external factor – to adapt and get the maximum benefit for a short period of time. In cases where we succeeded, and in most cases we did, we reached an extremely serious level of prosperity for our nation as part of the Ottoman, Persian or Russian empires, sometimes playing a very significant role within these formations.

In fact, we have developed tremendously the ability to adapt as much as possible and get the most out of being in something bigger. And, accordingly, when we did not succeed, we simply left and ran to under another roof and there we began to adapt again. This explains the fact that for many centuries we were very successful in other countries of our residence – in the diasporas. We have one of the most prosperous diasporas in the world. Because when you become a diaspora, you find yourself in an objective situation where you no longer bear responsibility for where this or that system is moving to. And it does not matter at all whether it is Russian or Indian, African, American, European. You, within the framework of a specific system, are trying to maximize the benefit and adapt. And we have learned to do it very well. Therefore, in our diaspora, as a rule, there are no poor people.

-You say that basically, we have successful people in the diaspora?

T. Jrbashyan – Yes, there are successful people in science, business and culture. In any area, where they do not have to make long-term decisions.

– Strategically, we are not there where we should take responsibility?

T. Jrbashyan – Yes. for that reason, when we re-emerged as an independent state, when we were practically left alone with ourselves and we had to understand where and how to move to, that was where our weakness manifested itself – the inability to think strategically at all levels. This happened in 1918 and, as a result, the loss of independence. We see the same in the Third Republic. This is associated not only with issues at national and state scale, but also at the level of companies, our families, and raising our children. That is, in all this diversity we resolve short-term issues, tactical plans, but do not think strategically. We do not understand that as a result of our actions now, the cause-and-effect relationships will be seen and felt in 20-30 years. This is why, there are no strategic documents in our country, all strategic documents are fakes. In general, I think that for these 30 years we have been building a seemingly independent country, but it has turned out to be a “kingdom of crooked mirrors.” If in business it is possible to build strategic planning for 3-5 years, at the level of government plans should be looking 20, 30 years ahead, because this is the only way you can do something now in order to benefit later. As a result of the lack of this approach, we have failed in almost every area. We do not have strategic thinking and, as a result, we cannot make projects that require strategic thinking.

– As a consequence of all this, can we lose the country? Because if we do not have strategic thinking, if we cannot take responsibility, then it is necessary to have someone else to be above us and solve our problems.

T. Jrbashyan – Naturally, that factor is also present, but the problem is much deeper. I really don’t want to talk about such deep genetic features, but when you analyze it, you realize that for a huge number of centuries, during most of our existence as an ethnic group we were almost always part of some kind of large formations. There was the Byzantine Empire, there were the Roman Empire, the Ottoman, Persian, Russian empires. And we, as a rule, gave our right to make strategic decisions to these large formations, while we ourselves preferred to stay within this framework. When we had an independent state in one or another part of our historic homeland, we were unable to reach an internal consensus on the ways of its strategic development. We were unable to strengthen it institutionally, to strengthen it so as not to lose it eventually.

– So, we would give our decision-making right to the titular nation?

T. Jrbashyan – Well, it is hardly possible to speak of a titular nation in the Roman Empire. Let’s put it this way: we gave someone the right to make strategic decisions for us, but we ourselves preferred, within the framework of the emerging paradigm, an external factor – to adapt and get the maximum benefit for a short period of time. In cases where we succeeded, and in most cases we did, we reached an extremely serious level of prosperity for our nation as part of the Ottoman, Persian or Russian empires, sometimes playing a very significant role within these formations.

In fact, we have developed tremendously the ability to adapt as much as possible and get the most out of being in something bigger. And, accordingly, when we did not succeed, we simply left and ran to under another roof and there we began to adapt again. This explains the fact that for many centuries we were very successful in other countries of our residence – in the diasporas. We have one of the most prosperous diasporas in the world. Because when you become a diaspora, you find yourself in an objective situation where you no longer bear responsibility for where this or that system is moving to. And it does not matter at all whether it is Russian or Indian, African, American, European. You, within the framework of a specific system, are trying to maximize the benefit and adapt. And we have learned to do it very well. Therefore, in our diaspora, as a rule, there are no poor people.

-You say that basically, we have successful people in the diaspora?

T. Jrbashyan – Yes, there are successful people in science, business and culture. In any area, where they do not have to make long-term decisions.

– Strategically, we are not there where we should take responsibility?

T. Jrbashyan – Yes. for that reason, when we re-emerged as an independent state, when we were practically left alone with ourselves and we had to understand where and how to move to, that was where our weakness manifested itself – the inability to think strategically at all levels. This happened in 1918 and, as a result, the loss of independence. We see the same in the Third Republic. This is associated not only with issues at national and state scale, but also at the level of companies, our families, and raising our children. That is, in all this diversity we resolve short-term issues, tactical plans, but do not think strategically. We do not understand that as a result of our actions now, the cause-and-effect relationships will be seen and felt in 20-30 years. This is why, there are no strategic documents in our country, all strategic documents are fakes. In general, I think that for these 30 years we have been building a seemingly independent country, but it has turned out to be a “kingdom of crooked mirrors.” If in business it is possible to build strategic planning for 3-5 years, at the level of government plans should be looking 20, 30 years ahead, because this is the only way you can do something now in order to benefit later. As a result of the lack of this approach, we have failed in almost every area. We do not have strategic thinking and, as a result, we cannot make projects that require strategic thinking.

– As a consequence of all this, can we lose the country? Because if we do not have strategic thinking, if we cannot take responsibility, then it is necessary to have someone else to be above us and solve our problems.

T. Jrbashyan – Naturally, that factor is also present, but the problem is much deeper. I really don’t want to talk about such deep genetic features, but when you analyze it, you realize that for a huge number of centuries, during most of our existence as an ethnic group we were almost always part of some kind of large formations. There was the Byzantine Empire, there were the Roman Empire, the Ottoman, Persian, Russian empires. And we, as a rule, gave our right to make strategic decisions to these large formations, while we ourselves preferred to stay within this framework. When we had an independent state in one or another part of our historic homeland, we were unable to reach an internal consensus on the ways of its strategic development. We were unable to strengthen it institutionally, to strengthen it so as not to lose it eventually.

– So, we would give our decision-making right to the titular nation?

T. Jrbashyan – Well, it is hardly possible to speak of a titular nation in the Roman Empire. Let’s put it this way: we gave someone the right to make strategic decisions for us, but we ourselves preferred, within the framework of the emerging paradigm, an external factor – to adapt and get the maximum benefit for a short period of time. In cases where we succeeded, and in most cases we did, we reached an extremely serious level of prosperity for our nation as part of the Ottoman, Persian or Russian empires, sometimes playing a very significant role within these formations.

In fact, we have developed tremendously the ability to adapt as much as possible and get the most out of being in something bigger. And, accordingly, when we did not succeed, we simply left and ran to under another roof and there we began to adapt again. This explains the fact that for many centuries we were very successful in other countries of our residence – in the diasporas. We have one of the most prosperous diasporas in the world. Because when you become a diaspora, you find yourself in an objective situation where you no longer bear responsibility for where this or that system is moving to. And it does not matter at all whether it is Russian or Indian, African, American, European. You, within the framework of a specific system, are trying to maximize the benefit and adapt. And we have learned to do it very well. Therefore, in our diaspora, as a rule, there are no poor people.

-You say that basically, we have successful people in the diaspora?

T. Jrbashyan – Yes, there are successful people in science, business and culture. In any area, where they do not have to make long-term decisions.

– Strategically, we are not there where we should take responsibility?

T. Jrbashyan – Yes. for that reason, when we re-emerged as an independent state, when we were practically left alone with ourselves and we had to understand where and how to move to, that was where our weakness manifested itself – the inability to think strategically at all levels. This happened in 1918 and, as a result, the loss of independence. We see the same in the Third Republic. This is associated not only with issues at national and state scale, but also at the level of companies, our families, and raising our children. That is, in all this diversity we resolve short-term issues, tactical plans, but do not think strategically. We do not understand that as a result of our actions now, the cause-and-effect relationships will be seen and felt in 20-30 years. This is why, there are no strategic documents in our country, all strategic documents are fakes. In general, I think that for these 30 years we have been building a seemingly independent country, but it has turned out to be a “kingdom of crooked mirrors.” If in business it is possible to build strategic planning for 3-5 years, at the level of government plans should be looking 20, 30 years ahead, because this is the only way you can do something now in order to benefit later. As a result of the lack of this approach, we have failed in almost every area. We do not have strategic thinking and, as a result, we cannot make projects that require strategic thinking.

– As a consequence of all this, can we lose the country? Because if we do not have strategic thinking, if we cannot take responsibility, then it is necessary to have someone else to be above us and solve our problems.

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