The three-week forecast: Heavy bouts of ‘madmiration’ and ‘electionitus’

As the US election results and the gender bending agenda of old media warriors show, there are millions of customers out there with their own agendas and aspirations.

Now that we have Obama back where he started at the edge of that fiscal cliff, new China leader Xi Jinping is confronting slower economic growth and Tony Abbott is chasing a positive reason to support his job application.

Investors drew little hope for a quick compromise in US budget talks after President Barack Obama insisted that higher taxes on wealthy Americans would have to be part of any deal.

Obama made clear he would seek higher tax revenue from the wealthiest Americans, which faces opposition among some Republicans in Congress. Obama said that a modest increase on the wealthy “is not going to break their backs.”

Stocks fell sharply, and even a signal from the Federal Reserve that it could launch a program in December to speed job growth failed to encourage investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 185 points.

Smart companies will see past this media myopia and the stories about a new oil shock, a terrible Christmas and a far from prosperous new year. Business leaders are restocking their inventories, retraining their staff and seeking opportunities to make the most of the diversity of our population.

Consumer confidence is consistently ahead of the reported business confidence levels, partly as Westpac points out because they have been reflecting the relentless negativity of Abbott and Hockey and have only started to see that the caravan has moved on.

Next week’s parliamentary sitting will either see the continuation of the misogyny, mendicant, misery and misdeeds of the past approach or the foundations of a national debate about investments in small business enterprises, capturing the opportunities from both the education and the energy revolution and a commitment to a post-Menzies perspective on productivity in the Asian Century.

We now have the chance to take up Tony Abbott’s call for a more diverse and indigenous voice about the realities of Australian life rather than the constant bleat of those who can only see life through the tinted glasses of Adam Smith that is being pushed by the IPA list of would-be leaders.

Productivity improvement needs to become a way of life that builds upon the quality of our graduates and greater investment in foundation research along the lines presented to the National Press Club by Andrew Liveris, chief executive of the Dow Chemical Company.

Labour market reform should replace its worn out adversarial language with a real focus on the issues raised two decades ago by former Rio Tinto executive David Karpin in his Industry Taskforce report, Enterprising Nation: Renewing Australia’s managers to meet the challenges of the Asia-Pacific century, commissioned by the then-federal government.

Now is not the time to look into the ‘seebackroscope’ and the kaleidoscope; now is the time to focus on delivering a future for the next generations.

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.


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