MM: Is the U.S. Killing Its Innovation Machine?
October 18, 2009 Leave a comment
Harvard Business Publishing has shared an intriguing series on U.S. competitiveness that frankly overlaps many of the issues we discovered early on in the Kyield voyage, much of which I think we’ve addressed in the architecture. The series is certainly worth your time regardless of where you live, work, and conduct business.
One of the articles in the series is ‘The U.S. Can’t Manufacture the Kindle and that’s a Problem‘, by Willy Shih. I agree with Willy generally, although I wanted to make a further point on cause, so I posted in the comment section and am sharing here as well:
MM: The Kindle is in good company. I have often compared the U.S. cultural view on globalization to the New Zealand experiment with a purist view of free market economics. In the case of the U.S., the prevailing view in business schools and media was heavily influenced by investment banks on Wall Street that had a bit too much skin in the game of M&A.
While I too am a purist at heart within my fantasy land, I am a realist in business and economics. The question by a poster here is one I hear often within global corps where managers often find careers ending prematurely if they question the religion: What difference does the country make?
In macro economics, which all companies ultimately depend upon, should therefore be keeping a close eye on, and in my view should have a proactive program to ensure functioning markets beyond the next quarter; unsustainable trade imbalances are not a good thing, particularly when the world’s largest economy becomes the world’s largest debtor nation. Even those benefiting the most from growth in Asia should be far more concerned than they have been — I am thinking of one board in particular and the damage done from their voice.
However, innovation is a much different story — culture matters, but location matters not. We released our white paper ‘Unleash the Innovation Within’ almost a year ago, which became among the most popular in our history within a short period of time. We concluded a few years ago that a holistic approach was needed to address the many structural issues in the modern organization relating to innovation, which by the way also affects crises prevention, governance, information overload (productivity), and continual learning.
Perhaps the real question that should be asked is: why is it that the U.S. cannot adopt state-of-the-art systems that would improve innovation and reduce crises?