Taming the Loch Ness Monster
Smart companies that want to make the most of the coming upturn in domestic and international economies should invest in a few sessions with their team on the requirements of ICE breaking – Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship.
Australia has a relatively short-term window of opportunity to build the job-creating capacity of small and medium enterprises through investments in smart technology, creative management, strategic thinking and use of the opportunities that will come with the NBN and the shift to green technologies.
Those who remain sceptical should go here to see the massive transformation in applications and computer-based productivity that is emerging with the shift to fibre technologies.
Patrick Harris, a Fast Future Research consulting associate, has produced The Truth About Creativity, a book that includes 46 separate truths to explore.
Each is about 1000 words long and subjects include creative characteristics, putting creativity to work, traits of creative teams, creative space and creative success.
According to futurist Ian Pearson of Fast Future Research we are now in the process of a slide down the back of the Loch Ness monster – a series of dips and falls in international economic growth as central banks become more concerned about managing inflation.
The combination of staggering levels of debt to GDP, toxic levels of tax concessions for the rich in the US, property bubbles and SOE stagnation in China and Euro bailouts will lead to a series of short-term corrections rather than long-term strategic thinking.
But rather than a double dip, the view of Rohit Talwar from Fast Future is that we are looking at more of a roller-coaster decade in which we will see regular rises and falls in different economies around the world.
He believes that the pain will be felt unevenly, with economies that have done the most to curb or prevent banking systems from entering into huge leveraged debt transactions and complex high volatility derivatives contracts likely to fare best or suffer the least relative pain.
Under those scenarios Australian firms that want to stay ahead of the monster should consider some of these strategic considerations:
- Bring your team together to do a best and worst case scenario evaluation of how current and future customers will respond.
- Look for innovative approaches to staff training and development – volunteering, guest speakers, e-learning and shared courses – even with competitors.
- Develop good early warning systems that require us to get close to funders, customers and business partners to track how their thinking is developing and to understand their needs and aspirations.
- Work with key suppliers and customers to look for innovative solutions that will cut costs and time from the value chain and improve quality of outputs and outcomes.
- Devote resources to serious open innovation experiments and encourage, educate and engage all involved to find the best path to an adaptive future.
Perhaps the most apocalyptic view comes from Société Générale in its Worst Case Debt Scenario report which warns clients to prepare for a possible "global economic collapse”.
It highlights that total US public and private debt was now 350% GDP and many years of deleveraging would be inevitable even if the Republicans and Democrats can work out a way to kick the can down the road a little longer.
The report warns that even without any new public spending within two years government debt would rise to 125% of GDP in the US and the Eurozone, 270% in Japan and 105% in the UK.
It estimates total global sovereign (state) debt could reach $45 trillion – a rise of 250% in a decade.
Under the report’s "bear case" scenario we would see a further fall in the value of the dollar, a decline in global equity prices, a sharp retreat on property values and oil could retreat to $50.
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Dr Colin Benjamin is an entrepreneurship and strategic thinking consultant at Marshall Place Associates, which offers a range of strategic thinking tools that open up a universe of new possibilities for individuals and organisations committed to applying the processes of innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Colin is also a member of the global Association of Professional Futurists.