The answer is simple: business operates in the environment, and we have no choice in the matter. The environment seems poised to make a few changes right now. That seems fair; it's apparently doing it largely in response to changes we've made. In times of transition, there are usually economic winners and losers. We've seen that building inefficient SUVs is not a winning strategy now (or, presumably, ever again); I want to help you (and me) think about the areas in which we can win.
Which brings me to my main point: optimism. Sometimes I post items that could seem depressing; I think my previous posting fits that description.
There are two steps to change. The first involves becoming motivated, and the second involves doing something. Facing up to the facts, as best we know them, is arguably the first thing we have to do. As we continue to get new data (even as the fundamental message hasn't changed in a while), I think it's important to keep looking at the science so we base our actions on the best insights we have.
I happened to see Great Read! Important Read! in Tom Peters' dispatches from the new world of work. While I haven't read Amanda Ripley's The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes - and Why, the subject of his post, yet, I think the concept meshes well with my idea that we are the ones who can make a difference. We can do it through business, we can do it personally, and we can do it through our governments. I think it's important to push forward on all three dimensions and not to let difficulties in one of those three areas prevent us from making progress in the remaining ones.
Is that a call to become dour prophets of doom? I sincerely hope not. While I think we have to make changes soon, I think we can and should do it with cheer, energy, and a spirit of optimistic entrepreneurialism. That's one of the things I liked about teaching at Bainbridge Graduate Institute: everyone there had an upbeat, infectious approach to life, to business, to social justice, and to the environment. That's one of the things I like about Bernie DeKoven's Junkyard Sports: he takes trash that no one wants and turns it into the stuff of play. That's one of the things I like about the growing interest in wind power, photovoltaic arrays, and high-efficiency transportation: the business system is responding to a real need. I'll let you have fun and success finding (or, better, creating) more examples.
What do you think?