The Contours of of Times: Wealth
This is a continuation of Renvenge of the Right Brain. I work for a manufacturing company that recently built an additional facility in Nevada. Now, it could have expanded by going a little father south in order to be built cheaper and get cheaper labor to run it. Yet it decided to support a part of the country that supports it. Presently, we export some of our goods to other countries. However, this is not really the wisest way to do it in the long run, so it is also building facilities overseas, however, the product that is created there will be sold overseas. Why? Because wealth is more important than simply profit. Bernard Lietaer (The Future of Money) reminds us that word wealth stems from "weal", implying a condition of well-being. Thus, he defines wealth as, "unbounded value that can be expressed as material wealth, relationship wealth, a wealth of joy, of love, of culture, of wit, of beauty, of imagination." And this is partly what Pink seems to be driving at: in left brain mode we focus on the linear -- profit -- and as we have seen recently, companies that focus strictly on profit do not normally do so well. In addition, they wind up destroying those around them. Thus, a lot of the companies are not offshoring to build better products, they are simply doing it to better their bottom lines, which under most circumstances, is simply for the wrong reason. On the other hand, many a corporation is starting to focus on Lietaer's broader meaning of the term wealth -- they are starting to think both in left and right brain mode. That is, while they are after the material wealth in order to survive, they also also thinking about culture, relationships, imagination, etc. Now have other cultures done this? Sure, but never on the mass scale that we need to. Disruptions are a way of life. Going from a farming society to a manufacturing society was quite disruptive at first, but we got through it. The same when we went from manufacturing to our present knowledge/service economy. When a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly, I'm not sure if it is painful, but I'm quite sure it can be quite disruptive, especially if it enjoys being a caterpillar. Thus, while this present disruption of outsourcing and off-shoring is quite painful, and unfortunately not equal in nature, it does provide a scaffold for going to that next level, while at the same time, it helps to spread the wealth to other nations. Being first is not always easy; it can involve a deep learning curve. On the other, watching someone going through a disruption is not always the best way to learn -- have you ever thought about how many people have watched a caterpillar metamorphose and are still not able to do it. This is what I find so interesting about writers like Pink. Like McLuhan, Drucker, and Toffler; Pink observes what is happening in order to play his hand at being a futurist. And from the short article, he did it in a quite knowledgeable and interesting way How accurate he will be remains to be seen. However, his article was enough to pique my interest (I plan on buying his book as soon as it is out).
Posted by Donald Clark at 6:22 PM
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