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World Bank President Jim Kim on Eliminating Extreme Poverty, Workplace Culture, and More

Jim Kim, President of the World Bank, speaks with LinkedIn's Daniel Roth about workplace culture, eliminating extreme poverty, and more.

Excerpts from the interview:

"As recently as 1990 almost half the people in the developing world lived on less than $1.25 a day. And now, 20 years later, we actually, for the first time in the history of humankind have a chance to end extreme poverty in our lifetime.

What we know is that unless you set a clear target with a clear deadline, people will not change the way they work. So, the intention was, not just for us, but for the whole world: if we're gonna get to ending absolute poverty, all of us have to work a little bit differently. Certainly we know that we have to do that at the World Bank."

"When you talk about the private sector and development, it's not a question of whether you like the private sector or you come from the private sector or not. The question is, what are your aspirations for poor people?

And if your aspiration are poor people are as high as mine, you have no choice. You know, we have to make sure that the private sector participates as fully as they can in creating jobs, in creating the kind of income for people that will life them out of poverty.
And so what we're trying to argue is that it's not just a good thing to do, to think about investing in developing countries, actually it's going to be a profitable thing. "

On changing company culture: "The CEO has to lead. The CEO has to sit in the room and make sure that people actually deal with each other, that people learn from each other and that instead of working in silos, six regional banks, knowledge not moving, the CEO has to sit and model the culture, him or herself.

I think that if we can get our people just to talk to each other and interact in a way that Alan Mulally did at Ford, we're going to discover all of the fantastic strengths that exist inside The World Bank Group.

I think unless you have a really exciting, inspiring goal, there's really no reason to change. If you're saying, "Oh my gosh, now we have this goal, are we ready to actually do this," then people start thinking, "Well, maybe we have to work a little bit more effectively." And I think that's happening."

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