"If you're in a bad situation, don't worry, it'll change. If you're in a good situation, don't worry, it'll change."
-- John A. Simone Jr.
Check out this article at the Wall Street Journal. I’ve been hearing this a lot lately. Company heads are waiting for governments to give them clear signals on where they should be placing their R&D, development and marketing bets. In essence, they’re asking for regulators and policy makers to tell them the future. It’s a tall order
Still, that is exactly what regulators and policy makers need to be doing. Yet, signals remain mixed. The reason seems to be that our government leaders are looking for signs as well.
Regarding greenhouse gas emissions, the Japanese government, facing a seemingly intractable showdown between business interests (cap GHG emissions at +4% above 1990 levels) and environmentalists (reduce GHG emissions to -25% of 1990 levels) asked the public to help decide. The Japanese public, not surprisingly, chose the middle path option they were offered (-7% from 1990 levels). Let’s remember that under the Kyoto Protocol Japanese GHG emissions rose roughly 6%. Things are not what they seem. Ah, where is the Oracle at Delphi when you need her?
We are at a time where our conventional decision-making capacities are failing. Too many choices, mounting and multiple risks, way too much uncertainty. Business leaders want to move but are looking for direction. Governments wants to act but, they too, are looking for direction. Public opinion is all over the place.
So, what to do? Let’s begin with another question: What sustains? We need to take a look at what holds us together. What supports us? What do we need? What sustains?
We need to look at the Value Web and begin boldly designing from and for abundance. Big business, small business, venture capital, entrepreneurs, NPO’s & NGO’s, school principals, teachers & professors, doctors & nurses, housewives & househusbands, village councils, state, provincial & prefectural assemblies, mayors, city directors, governors, presidents & prime ministers–all of us need to be doing this together. NOW.
Otherwise, we will end up like the three middle school girls’ I remember from my English teaching days in Japan. They were members of the softball team and I was watching their team practice. The coach would line a ball to the shortstop and she would deftly field it and sling it over to first in accordance with her teammates shouts. The girl minding third base did the same. When the coach hit the ball deep to left field, the left fielder chased it down and relayed the ball to the shortstop who then, at the behest of her teammates spun and slung the ball home, to the catcher.
Then, there was this pop fly. A little Texas leaguer that either the girl at third, the shortstop or the left fielder could have called and caught. Instead they all tracked the ball on it’s upward arc and, as it descended, they formed a neat triangle into the middle of which dropped the ball. There was no tried and true response for this situation. The three girls looked at each other. Their teammates stood in confused silence. And, in that moment, nothing happened.
Sound familiar? Who wants the ball?