Archive

Archive for November, 2012

Yes the economy stinks… now what are you going to do about it?

A recent FoxBusiness.com article summed it well “American small businesses have suffered enough in this current economy… Twenty-three million Americans are unemployed or under-employed in this country, and now more job cuts are on the horizon.” Businesses are dealing with an election lashing in which the country sided with bigger government, more regulations. The chances of Obamacare being repealed melted away like ice cream on a hot summer day. The day after the 2012 President Election, more than 40 companies announced layoffs citing the economy, Obamacare, the inevitable tax increases and burdensome regulations. There is a great deal of fear amongst business owners and many do not know what they are going to do next. We could opine all day long of the horrible conditions businesses find ourselves in, but this will not fix the inevitable of the next four years. The question is what are we going to do about it? Reality is that it is now up to us to fix the economy – but how?  As my colleague and Sales Guru Tim Davis put it, “the question now becomes where is the opportunity?” This is a very good question that cannot be entered into lightly. In fact, many business owners are typically too busy to slow down and give much strategic thought to the next three to five years when they are trying to figure out how they are going to survive the next three to five months. What we know is that during times of economic downturn and uncertainty – the one thing you should be doing is investing in your organization and plotting out a future beyond the troubled waters. Oddly enough, business owners rarely do.

The next four years, businesses need clear and concise strategies to survive the changes ahead. Some may require financial triage while others may require a human resource strategy to deal with a shrinking workforce budget. I’ve worked with many organizations facing uncertainty. What I found to be most important is clarity of thinking. In times of uncertainly two heads are always better than one. Taking time to look at the whole picture is important to the overall long term success of the organization. Taking time to quiet the noise and to outline the areas of concern is important to creating scenarios and approaches to the issues at hand. Without a strong strategic approach to the organizations future, you are doing nothing more than living day-to-day with a false hope of achieving lasting success. Now is the time to invest in your organization. Rethinking the future and how you approach it is key to overall success. Having an extra set of eyes to help decide where finances can be cut and operations expanded can be extremely helpful.  During these uncertain times it would be easy to give up and throw in the towel. Don’t give up, don’t give in. Dig in and make a decision today that you will do everything possible to see your organization thrive despite government and economic pressures. Today is the day we take back the economy. Are you in?

———————

Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Maximum Change, Inc. is a Leadership and Business Consulting firm located in Middle Tennessee offering business & leadership consulting, speaking and training. Philip Foster is a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization, Strategic Leadership, Planning and Strategic Foresight. Facilitating change through the design and implementation of strategies, strategic foresight and strategic planning

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667

The Decay of American Sovereignty through Globalization

Globalization is the phenomenon that polarizes people, alters the fabric of our lives and creates rifts within and between people (Harf and Lombardi, 2009, p 258). Many in the West have embraced globalization and argue that it helps to streamline economic systems, disciplines labor and management, brings forth new technologies and ideas, and fuels economic growth (Harf and Lombardi, 2009, p 258). Yet, many poor and middle-class workers view globalization as an economic and cultural wave that will tear the fabric of their societies (Harf and Lomardi, 2009, p 258).

 

Beyond the cultural fissures, we must consider the impact of globalization on a country’s sovereignty. In fact, James M. Boyers (1998) states “Globalization ‘denotes a process of denationalization of clusters of political, economic, and social activities’” (p 583). While the U.S. Constitution serves as the foundation and source of legitimacy for the U.S. Government; globalizing forces will continue to require the United States to face new challenges and the Constitution will limit the means of meeting those challenges (Boyers, 1998, p 598).

 

Arguably, globalization creates pressures for greater inequality throughout the world and nowhere is this felt more than in the United States because our system fails to redistribute income effectively and allow the pressures of globalization to be fully realized (Massey, 2009, p 9). All countries compete in the same global economy and face the same market conditions, but the United States is unique among advanced nations in its ability to generate inequality (Massey, 2009, p 10). Massey (2009) argues that this “hyper-inequality emerged not through globalization, technological change, or market segmentation, but because of institutional arrangements specific to the United States that fail to redistribute income to the same extent as other industrial nations” (p 10). These institutional arrangements are rooted in the Constitution of the United States which in part establishes “Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty” to all Americans (U.S. Constitution). The Constitution solidifies the Declaration of Independence which promotes the ideal that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (The Declaration of Independence, 1776). Globalization appears to dictate, amongst other things, the edict of redistribution of wealth which is in stark contrast to our ideals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. While Globalization is worthy of participation from an economic standard, the precedent set in changing laws to conform to international standards can threaten the very fabric of our Constitutional DNA and if not monitored could eventually unravel the very nature of what makes the United States so unique.

References:

Harf, James E. and Lombardi, Mark Owen (2010). Taking Sides. Clashing Views on Global Issues. New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

Boyers, James M (1998). “Globalization and the United States Constitution: How Much Can it Accommodate” Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies. Volume 5, Issue 2, Article 11, pp 583-599.

Massey, Douglas S. (2009). “Globalization and Inequality: Explaining American Exceptionalism.” European Sociological Review. Volume 25, Number 1, 2009, p 9-23.

United States Government (n.d.) The Constitution of the United States. Retrieved on November 1, 2012 from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution_transcript.html

United States Government (1776). The Declaration of Independence. Retrieved on November 1, 2012 from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

———————

Philip A Foster, MA is Founder/CEO of Maximum Change Inc. Maximum Change, Inc. is a Leadership and Business Consulting firm located in Middle Tennessee offering business & leadership consulting, speaking and training. Philip Foster is a Thought Leader in Business Operations, Organization, Strategic Leadership, Planning and Strategic Foresight. Facilitating change through the design and implementation of strategies, strategic foresight and strategic planning

Email | LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter | Web | Skype: philip.a.foster | 615-216-5667