Are we all upside down?

This is one of those ‘rants’ occasionally I feel a real need to express. Forgive me, normal service will be resumed after this ‘break’.

Coffee in hand, soap box set up, let me begin.

Today, we are all struggling to transform ourselves in our businesses, even just within ourselves, to adjust to the current economic difficulties we all seem presently to be facing. We are not only confronted with the toughest downturn in modern times but with all the pressures with the speed of decision-making, technological advances that seem to just simply ‘suck up’ more of our daily lives instead of helping to resolve it. We have the pressures of global competitiveness and calls that constantly are urging us to never stand still because others aren’t.

We often become overwhelmed by the merging, acquiring, rethinking that is going on constantly around us, the changes in processes, new alliances and the sudden emergence of a ‘new kid on the block’ who sees a weakness and rapidly fills that gap overnight. Oh yes, and we still are not very good at being more innovative!

Lots more hot fixes or a more radical redesign?

These pressures compel us to focus on a host of ‘quick fixes’ but what we are failing to recognize is where all these changes fit within our longer term plans. Just finding the opportunity to take out precious ‘thinking’ time to synthesise and reorganize ourselves seems impossible, we are just getting caught up in the flotsam of live, just bobbing along. Continue reading

Looking beyond that certain innovation bleakness is hard.

I was appalled to read a summary of a recent report that nearly 50 metropolitan regions in the USA- or more than one in seven- are unlikely to bring back their regions to job levels lost in the recession until after 2020. Yes you read it right- 2020, nearly nine further years, well beyond this Presidents further term of office, if he gets re-elected.

The report commissioned by the U.S Conference of Mayors are equally predicting 363 metropolitan areas would not generate enough jobs to get back to pre-recession peaks until 2014, based on current world economics. When you add in that metropolitan regions account for 86 per cent of all jobs you realize how stark this is. So we are entering that twilight zone for millions that have a number of lost years ahead of them to face a difficult, uncertain future.

The issue is not just the economic job loss but the types of job lost are just not easily going to be replaced. Many are simply gone, moved somewhere else in the world or just vanished forever. The level of re-skilling that needs to take place to move old-line factory jobs into technology related, advanced manufacturing for protecting added value areas or service sectors is simply massive.

Can innovation as is often suggested simply take up the slack? I think it is uinlikely. We need to think different, we need to think radically and innovation plays its delivery part in this.

Across the pond in the UK and much of Europe I suspect it is no different

Continue reading