Mapping Out Socio-Technical Systems

human-vs-robot-09

Another problem is presented. A worker gets injured on a subcontractor’s project. We gather around the table to dish out the blame. Everyone wants to point fingers. The project manager blames inadequate funding while the safety engineer cites an ineffective preplanning process. Nothing gets resolved. The issue moves up the line for a senior management decision. There’s a meeting to discuss the matter.  

Someone leads out and says, “What can be done to prevent this problem?” Numerous technical recommendations are offered. Standing up, I state, “Why don’t we ask the workers about this problem? Let’s get them involved so that they can help find the solution.”

The room gets quiet. Finally, one senior manager suggests that we should take money away from the subcontractor, buy new technology, and fire the worker’s supervisor. Everyone agrees. After dealing with this same problem every month, I was hoping for a different answer. I was disappointed again.[1] 

Why do we see managers make the same mistakes over and over and never want the day-to-day workers involved in the process? Executives are then shocked when their employees don’t buy-in on their latest management initiative. One of the reasons organizations do not reach peak performance is because managers do not create socio-technical systems to support organizational values.

With fierce global competition and a need for a market advantage, I found it surprising that managers move toward the quick fixes like downsizing for short term gain without analyzing the organization over the long-term. I am not suggesting that this approach is easy; however, I am declaring that over the long haul, an organization will become a stronger institution in the process. [2]  

The concept of socio-technical systems is very important in a highly competitive environment. Socio-technical systems relate to the reciprocal interrelationship between humans and machines. In fact, the idea explores how both the technical and the social conditions of work interact with efficiency and the human condition.[3]

This interaction satisfies each, but does not compromise the other.  Since the industrial age, researchers have recognized that both technical and social factors impact organizational performance.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOePJH7LYZ4

Daniel Wren, author of The Evolution of Management Thought, concludes that analyzing a social system gives management an avenue to measure conflict between the “logic of efficiency” demanded  by the formal organization and  the “logic by sentiments” by the informal organization.[4]

In profit hunting, many businesses lose focus of the importance of socio-technical systems. Given precepts, the questions for most managers becomes how to use this scholarly perspective in the practitioner’s avenue where time is money and money is time.  In the following weeks, we will address three practical applications (i.e. value modeling, technology relevancy, and human factor buy-in) so that socio-technical systems within organizations can support its organizational values. 

Discuss the concept of socio-technical systems in today’s organizations.

 

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green                                                       

 


[1] “Leading others while supporting organizational values” by Daryl D. Green

[2] “Leading others while supporting organizational values” by Daryl D. Green

[3] “Philosophy of socio-technical systems” by Gunter Ropohl

[4] The Evolution of Management Thought by Daniel Wren

 

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Solving the Sustainability Puzzle

sustainability-boy-world

Gridlock can often derail sturdy locomotives when all the leaders are driving it in different directions.  The Federal government is no exception.  Political in-fighting is the game of the day.  President Obama delivered his State of the Union Address this month which earned mixed reviews depending on their party affiliation. 

Yet, many politicians recognize that America’s massive financial debt isn’t sustainable.   The latest crisis involves sequestration which requires automatic cuts across the government, including defense and domestic programs based on a specific deadline.

 According to a recent George Mason University study, over 2.14 million American jobs would be lost if sequestration took place.  The original concept of sequestration was to create an artificial doomsday that would force both political parties to work together.  It didn’t work!

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky made a plea for deep spending cuts and congressional term limits:  “The path we are on is not sustainable, but few in Congress or in this administration seem to recognize that their actions are endangering the prosperity of the nation.” 

If the federal government, with its massive resources, is  unable to deal with the issues of sustainability, what hope do other smaller organizations have then?  “Instead of negotiating, party leaders were busy issuing ultimatums and casting blame,” noted Washington Post columnist Lori Montgomery.

With the ever increasing chaos and complicity of business operations to achieve a profit, the concept of sustainability becomes more than an Ivy League Business School buzz word.  The speed of change and the constant bombardment of market problems continue to haunt business executives who hope to survive another crisis situation.

Organizations that do not understand this necessity soon find themselves looking at the behinds of other organizations that are in front of them. In order to survive, today’s business leaders need to understand the market environment, recognize their strengths, pursue market opportunities, and obtain continuing profitability while taking a long-view perspective of their operations to achieve sustainability.

More and more organizations recognize that sustainability is more than keeping the environment clean.  Yet, the concept of sustainability is often difficult to define. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sustainability is defined as “everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment.” 

Consequently, one person may view sustainability simply as the ability to use resources continuously without any long-term depletion.  Andres Edwards, author of The Sustainability Revolution, breakdowns sustainability in several  key components which are  ecology/environment, economy/employment, equity/equality, and education.

Some businesses executives quietly argue that profitability supercedes many other priorities such as the environment.  Edwards disagrees: “Creating a healthy environment, free of pollution and toxic waste, and simultaneously providing the basic for a dynamic economy that will endure for an extended period are viewed as complementary rather than conflicting endeavors.”

 However, are there many things that are possible to be sustained without proper planning for them?  In order for businesses to avoid these conflicts of interest between capitalism and the sustainability model, visionary leaders must communicate their expectations to all members of their organizations and throughout their supply chain. 

Discuss the concepts of sustainability as it relates to your profession.

© 2013 by Daryl D. Green

Today’s Strategic Alliances

handshakes-business

If you want to survive on the international scene, you had better develop a well connected supply chain.  Yet, businesses need to properly align with organizations that have the same ethical system and create value in the relationship.  This reality speaks to the nature of strategic alliances. 

With the sudden emergence of countries like China, Brazil, and India, there is a new emerging demand from consumers across the globe.  These newer countries are strategically positioning themselves to change Western civilization and America’s Super Power status.  

Antoine van Agtmael, author of The Emerging Markets Century, argues that these emerging countries are not a fad but a wave of things to come in the near future:   “Instead of being peripheral, as they have been since the first Industrial Revolution, key economies of the former Third World will soon re-emerge as the dominant economies of the future.”  

In fact, he notes that these emerging countries’ economies are growing at a rate nearly twice as fast as developed countries such as the United States and its Western allies. 

Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, explain about the positives and negatives of entering global markets:  “As we have discussed, a more competitive global environment has proved to be both an opportunity and a threat for organizations and managers.” 

Businesses must build relationships that minimize their risks in global markets.   According to some estimates, these emerging markets will be nearly twice as large as the current developed economies.  Antoine van Agtmael suggests a different business shift:  “A new breed of companies will play a critical role in producing this shift; a select number of which truly deserve to be regarded as world class.” 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgfwzPRyVvw 

Strategic alliance is defined ‘as an agreement in which managers pool or share their organization’s resources and know-how with a foreign company, and how organizations share the rewards and risks of starting a new venue.’  However, these relationships must make sense over the long-term in order to sustain any meaningful value. High performing organizations cannot afford to misfire with the wrong strategic alliances.  Consequently, good organizations need to be deliberate in forging the right relationships in a global market.

 Discuss the concepts of strategic alliances in a global market.

 © 2013 by Daryl D. Green

Global Human Capital

 

I watch and listened. Industry Leader Yasir Abdulrahman was sharing with my undergraduate class an overview of cross cultural interests as it relates to operating a business in the Middle East. Yasir explained how some managers from the U.S. had gone abroad without understanding cultural sensitivity.  It was a fatal mistake.  

Companies cannot afford to make these kinds of errors in a global environment.  After Yasir’s dynamic presentations, I knew that emerging U.S. leaders would need a broader global perspective in order to achieve future business success. 

Across the world, there is a search for talented and gifted employees.  Some companies hope they may hire the next Steve Jobs of Apple. In fact, having the right management strategy can elevate a country’s financial well-being. India and China flecks their mighty muscle due to the dominance of their outsourcing efforts.  

Countries attempt to invest more in their own educational system in order to better manage their own talented management system.  Countries seek to find strategic gaps. For example, foreign countries now hold more than $12 trillion in U.S. assets, including stocks, bonds, real estate, and more financial elements.[1] 

In fact, Japan and China are very motivated to support the American dollar so that Americans will continue to buy their goods, thus keeping their citizens working.  At a low scale, companies attempt to search for this talent with a lens of also attracting more cheap labor.

Peter Cappelli, author of Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs, explains that even with over 23 million people unemployed, companies argue they cannot find qualified workers.  According to the Manpower Group analysis, 52% of U.S. employers state they have a difficult time filling positions because of the talent shortage.[2] 

Cappelli suggest that employers are making unrealistic expectations in the process:  “Many people, especially pundits in the business press, seem to have what we might call a Home Depot view of the hiring process, in which filling a job vacancy is seen as akin to replacing a part in a washing machine….Like a replacement part, job requirements have very precise specifications. Job candidates must fit them perfectly or the job won’t be filled and the business can’t operate.”[3]

However, people aren’t machine. They aren’t perfect.  Yet, organizations maintain this Home Depot mentality and allow job positions to be unfilled until the arrival of that perfect candidate.

Human Resource Management (HRM) requires that organizations manage their workforce strategically.  Charles Hill, author of International Business, explains, “Irrespective of the desire of managers in many multinationals to build a truly global enterprise with a global workforce, the reality is the HRM practices still have to be modified.”[4]

With the significant differences between countries in labor markets, economic systems, legal systems, and other perimeters, managers must adapt their operations with an international perspective.  Consequently, staffing policies must be adjusted in order to select the right employees for the jobs that best fits the specific countries, whether a domestic employee who is being transferred or by hiring locally. 

In both cases, organizations must seek to ingrain their corporate culture even on foreign soil. John Wiedemer, Robert Wiedemer, and Cindy Spitzer, author of America’s Bubble Economy, sees an opportunity for individuals who understand the economic climate: “The fall of America’s Bubble Economy will shake up many industries, drive businesses into bankruptcy, derail countless careers, and force dramatic numbers of workers into temporary unemployment. It will also create thousands of successful companies that don’t currently exist, lead all sorts of people to rethink their life’s work, and make many, many alert entrepreneurs and investors fabulously wealthy.”[5] Therefore, organizations that can effectively recruit, manage, and retain a global workforce will have a clear advantage in the marketplace.

What does talent management mean in a global environment? How do individuals capitalize on the global trend for talent? 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                    


[1] America’s Bubble Economy by John Wedemer, Robert Wedemer, and Cindy Spitzer

[2] Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs by Peter Cappelli

[3] Why Good People Can’t Get Jobs by Peter Cappelli

[4] International Business by Charles Hills

[5] America’s Bubble Economy by John Wedemer, Robert Wedemer, and Cindy Spitzer

Relationship Selling Toward Greater Profitability in the Future

Is America in trouble?  On a daily basis we are being required to answer that question both subconsciously and openly by today’s media pundits.  Recent economic reports have shown vulnerabilities in the United States economic engine including everything from manufacturing to consumer spending. 

Even the latest positive economic news brings another sequence of gloom. For example, the job rate ticked down in July, 2011; however, American businesses are not creating enough jobs. With unemployment still hovering over 9%, most people do not feel there  is much to be happy about related to the job outlook.    

One of the smartest ways to retool the economy is by selling more products and services to domestic and international markets.  Therefore, the art of selling becomes a critical competitive advantage to organizations that want to sustain profitability over the long-term. Selling is a common denominator for every business. No matter what business you are in, you must sell your product or services to customers. 

Yet, the concept of selling is related to creating value for customers.  When a bakery gives an extra donut in a dozen, the company is adding value and fosters better relationships with customers.  Given these realities, selling is a people-oriented business that addresses the customer value proposition. 

Relationship skills can make or break important connections.  Dr. Dave Hinkes, co-author of Selling by Objectives: The Handbook for More Profitability in the 21st Century, often advises his Fortune 500 clients to stay connected with their customers.  Dr. Hinkes and I worked hard on this project.

 

We further prescribe a relationship selling model based on several key elements which include branding, quality, flexibility, reliability, creativity, simplicity, efficiency, and price. Dr. Hinkes adds: “If you can practice or role play your responses to these objectives originating from any source, then you will find that you will be closing more deals, building more wealth, and saving time and effort in the process.” 

For businesses, it is important to understand human behavior in order to building lasting relationships. Therefore, relationship selling and sales management are interconnected. Mark Johnston and Greg Marshall, authors of Relationship Selling, note the importance of these connections: “The managers in the sales organization have taken time to think through the most efficient and effective way to manage the customer side of the business”.  

With competitors on each global corner, today’s businesses cannot afford to lose customers or markets.  Staying connected with customers is critical for sustainability.  Relationship selling is a good method for organizations to use.

Like any relationship, there is a degree of tension involved in selling due to the need for solutions. The tension may be positive or negative depending on how much exists or how it is handled.  Businesses that can balance these conflicting interests will have an advantage over their competitors and an opportunity for greater profitability.

Please discuss your professional experience with this topic. 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green


[1] “Double-dip odds on the rise” by Scott Patterson

Guest Blogger – Burnout: An Unseen Blaze

In this brief piece, I want to begin an exploration of burnout. Some believe burnout is self imposed by workers who can’t take the pressure. Others find that in the current economic and organizational climates, burnout is imposed by business that do not recognize or accept that workers need periods in their work days to decompress.  

During the Vietnam era, American military members often recited a refrain for which I do not have a clear attribution; although one source attributes it to Mother Teresa.  

“We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”  

Many of the service members who recited this also suffered from the stresses of war, constantly being shelled by the enemy, constantly being on patrol in jungles where the enemy hid, constantly being exposed to team members injuries, wounds, and death.

Movie watchers saw this portrayed with some degree of realism in Band of Brothers. These military men and women were constantly in a state of high arousal with few or no opportunities to decompress. 

Is there a parallel to that refrain in the current economy, the current organizational climate? One source explains the parallel by citing that in the current climate (economic or organizational) there are often mismatches between job expectations and expectations of the person performing the job.

Often, organizations place economic consequences ahead of human values. This confusion of values against economic needs of the employee to survive in an unstable work climate may result in lost productivity brought on by stress. 

Question, who are the unwilling and why did they become unwilling? It their book, The Truth About Burnout, Maslach and Leiter found several reasons why people become unwilling. They find overwork and lack of control over their jobs as part of the problem.  

Another question, who are the unknowing? The comic Dilbert provides an example of the unknowing in the depiction of the pointy-haired boss who reaps all the rewards for himself sharing none with workers.  

Why has working become doing the impossible? Although the work may not be impossible to complete, workers feel a loss of community in the workplace. Political intrigue and rumors often force workers to withdraw from those around them.  

An example of the ungrateful comes from the movie Office Space. The unit manager who strolled the isles of cube dwellers showed his lack of gratitude in his interpersonal interactions. Today, workers feel that they are not treated fairly and have to deal with values conflict.  

Citing Maslach and Leiter again, they write, burnout is a result of “erosion in values, dignity, spirit, and will — an erosion of the human soul” (pg. 17). This is a strong provocative statement meaningfully explaining “doing so much, with so little, for so long.” The human spirit can become willing again if organizations take steps.  

The modern military tries to relieve effects of stress and the resulting PTSD in the field and before and after a deployment. What are organizations doing to combat stress and burnout? The first step organizations must consider is the truth of burnout.

Since the bottom line is the bottom line in contemporary business, one truth is that burnout takes an economic toll. Another truth is the emotional toll zapping the strength of workers both mentally and physically.  

Organizations cannot afford to have unwilling and ungrateful elements if it wants to survive. Relieving the economic and emotional toll of burnout can take the “un” out leaving willing and grateful. People do not exist because of an organization; an organization exists because of people.

Please comment on this topic from your personal or professional experience.

About the Guest Blogger

Dr. Paul Hoffman holds a Doctor of Strategic Leadership from Regent University, a Master of Arts in Leadership and Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from Bellevue University.

Doctor Hoffman is an adjunct professor at Bellevue University and Metropolitan Community College in Communications Arts, English, and Communication and Humanities. Before his teaching role, Dr. Hoffman was a graduate enrollment counselor at Bellevue University and enrollment representative to the University’s Quality Council.  

Dr. Hoffman came to the academic arena after ten years in retail management. During this period he managed in speciality mall stores, and multimillion dollar warehouse style stores. Dr. Hoffman owned a small business and was an insurance agent for a fraternal insurance provider.  

Dr. Hoffman was a U.S. Air Force active duty noncommissioned officer retiring in 1990 as a Master Sergeant. During over 21 years of active duty, Dr. Hoffman was a Security Police sentry assigned to guard aircraft, missiles, and nuclear weapons on alert and in storage.

For three years, he held the speciality of Military Training Instructor while supervising an installation correctional custody facility. In the concluding seven-plus years, Dr. Hoffman worked as an installation human relations and equal opportunity treatment NCO and finally as Superintendent of Social Actions overseeing both human relations and substance abuse prevention activities for an installation. 

Military assignments saw Dr. Hoffman stationed at major Air Force Bases of the Strategic Air Command, U.S. Air Force Europe, and Pacific Air Force. During the Vietnam era, Dr. Hoffman had one assignment in support of major air operations over Vietnam. 

Dr. Hoffman is married to Su Yun and they have two adult children. Son, Leslie Donald, is the oldest formerly a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps. Les has two combat tours in Iraq.

Daughter, Theresa Ann, was a member of the U.S. Peace Corps serving on the island of Carricaou, the Grenades; her Peace Corps specialty was Community Health focusing on AIDS awareness and prevention and presently studying to become a physical therapy assistant.

Nonprofit Sustainability

Nonprofit organizations provide very valuable assistance to society. With shrinking funds for programs and a more competitive environment, nonprofit organizations will need to rethink their corporate strategies for future success.

In 2005, there will be approximately 1.4 million nonprofit organizations registered to the IRS. The majority of nonprofits depend on volunteers at various levels. In fact, 74% of all public charities and 83% of all foundations are small; they have less than $500,000 in expenses and limited staff.  

Negative market trends signal trouble for many nonprofit organizations. According to the Nonprofit Research Collaborative in 2011, 59% of nonprofits reported their donation income was flat or lower than 2010.  Although 41% of nonprofits saw an increase in their donations during this timeframe, smaller charities with less than $3 million in total spending saw donations drop. 

In fact, food pantries and homeless shelters across the nation reported more usage which increased the cost of operations. Furthermore, 8% of charities noted they were in danger of closing according to the Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University.                                              

Demanding contributors and the public in general are demanding more accountable and efficiency after several high profile scandals.  Nonprofit organizations are often influenced by their stakeholders that include clients, board of directors, committees, government officials, community leaders, staff, and volunteers.

However, most nonprofit organizations haven’t completely embraced this rigor due to various reasons (i.e. limited resources and the lack of knowledge). Yet, nonprofit organizations have a greater need for increased effectiveness in their processes during this economic crisis.   

Describe your professional experiences with nonprofit sustainability issues.

 © 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                                       

 

Disruptive Technology in Our Future

 

In life, sometimes it is the simple things that count despite modern technology.  In the next few months, I will be able to see 3-4 of my books published.  Traditionally, it takes most large publishing houses 12-18 months before their books are published. 

As an independent publisher, I learned that the speed of products to the market place is a good way to beat a large competitor.  In fact, my success relates to a simple website called Elance.com, a freelance website that allow customers to solicit work from a variety of outsourcing services which include programmers, designers, office support, translators, marketers, researchers and many other disciplines. 

Elance.com allows a business to post a job opening and invites freelance workers who believe they have the requisite skills for the job to make a bid. The company charges a $10 fee to each business to post a job and also takes a small portion of what gets paid to contractors. 

 Through this website, I have found some of the most talented individuals from across the world. For these services, it is a buyer’s market.  Some people would argue that it is all about buying cheap labor for profitability.  

In this scenario, developed countries appear to be exploiting underdeveloped countries.  This is not always true.  I have paid more in the past for the best talent.  With that said, potential employers see a website that attracts over 500,000 talented freelancers.  For the freelancer, there is an opportunity to bid on 48,000 jobs, worth $480K. Therefore, a differentiate strategy can defeat a low cost  strategy on a global playing field.  

Technology must be a management tool that is used strategically.  Clayton Christensen, author of The Innovator’s Dilemma, provides a framework for understanding the interrelationship between technology changes and a business success. Christensen demonstrates how successful companies have been overtaken by small disruptive technologies. 

The cell phone, undermining the profitability of the established communication networks such as AT&T, further showcases the impacts of disruptive technology.  Sadly, more executives are unwilling to think strategically due to the wrath of their investors and financial pundits.  

For example, Amazon’s revenue grew in 2012 but the details were lacking.  Amazon.com’s revenue rose to 17.4 billion (35% increase) in the fourth quarter.  However, it fell short of Wall Street predictions. 

According to VentureBeat, Amazon sold as many as 6 million Kindle Fires and its older tablet prototype . Given this reality, the Fire would move ahead of Android tablets from Sansung and Motorola, making it only second to Apple’s iPad. Analysts were concerned that the $199 Fire would make a profit.  Additionally, Amazon.com is spending capital on clouding technology.  

Maximizing profits on Fire as an industry leading tablet is a near- term strategy. However, CEO Jeff Bezos appears to have disappointed Wall Street with a long-term perspective instead of sacrificing shareholders with profits in the near term. 

Innovators take note of disruptive change as positive turbulence in the market.  John Gamble and Arthur Thompson, authors of Essentials of Strategic Management, explain, “Understanding the nature of competitively important resources allows managers to identify resources or capabilities that should be further developed to play an important role in the company’s future strategies.” Therefore, organizations which do not understand the importance of making sustainable growth by being more efficient will not be successful over the long-term. 

 Discuss your professional and personal experiences with disruptive technology.

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green                                                       


 

Social Mobility in America

Economic turbulence has overtaken the American way of life.  In Europe and Asia, investors stand uncertain of their next moves.  Even America is part of an economic casualty. 

Yet, these problems are very personal to the average citizen. Higher gas prices and costs of living; the housing bust; and the financial crisis cause most people to worry about their future. With a weak job growth, many U.S. jobs continue to be shipped abroad. 

Global competition continues to cause Fortune 500 companies to search for cheap labor to increase profitability.  This reality often places developed countries like the United States at a clear disadvantage.  Consequently, there has been an increasing gap between the wealthiest people and the poorest people in this country.  The reality has become the shrinking or disintegrating of the middle class.

America is a shining symbol for social mobility across the world.  Social mobility can be defined as “the passage of individuals from one social class to another.” Most people feel that if they work hard, they can achieve a better life, regardless of their social standing. 

In some countries, a person is stuck in an economic class with no hope of further advancement.  If your parents are uneducated and work a low paying occupation, the children will grow up in this same status.

Marketing expert Michael Solomon argues the natural progression of social mobility: “People do improve their positions over time, but these increases are not usually dramatic to catapult them from one social class to another.”  The current economic picture makes social mobility more difficult.

Michael Snyder, editor of theeconomiccollapseblog.com, argues the systematic destruction of the middle class: “The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer at a staggering rate. Once upon a time, the United States had the largest and most prosperous middle class in the history of the world, but now that is changing at a blinding pace.” 

Snyder supported his claims with 22 statistical facts.  Below is a sample of his analysis:

  • Eighty three percent of all U.S. stocks are in the hands of one percent of the people.
  • American workers now must compete against situations like China where a garment worker makes approximately 86 cents an hour and in Cambodia a garment worker makes approximately 22 cents an hour.
  •  Sixty one percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49% in 2008 and 43% in 2007.
  • Average Wall Street bonuses for 2009 were up 17% when compared with 2008.
  • More than 40% of Americans who actually are employed are now working in service jobs, which are often very low paying.
  • Sixty six percent of the income growth between 2001 and 2007 went to the top one percent of all Americans.
  • Only the top 5% of U.S. households have earned enough additional income to match the rise in housing costs since 1975.
  • In 1950, the ratio of the average executive’s paycheck to the average worker’s paycheck was about 30 to 1. Since the year 2000, that ratio has exploded to between 300-500 to 1.
  • As of 2007, the bottom 80% of American households held about 7% of the liquid financial assets.
  • The bottom 50% of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.

Many people hold that a political change will rescue the middle class.  As we have witnessed in the 2012 Presidential Election, petty politics are more important than solving the economic crisis.  Therefore, all families are held hostages. Any rescue will not be soon. 

Snyder doubts there is any hopeful solution for the stale social mobility occurring today: “The reality is that no matter how smart, how strong, how educated or how hard working American workers are, they just cannot compete with people who are desperate to put in 10 to 12 hour days at less than a dollar an hour on the other side of the world.”  Many people hope that America can compete in the future without sacrificing her core values related to social mobility.  Others have given up this hope.

 Do you feel social mobility is unsustainable in the U.S. , given global competition?

 © 2012 by Daryl D. Green

Mapping out the Green Economy

Most businesses are promoting ‘Going Green’ while politicians peddle the concept as a way to grow jobs.  Many people have been disappointed with the perceived ‘hype.’  My question, with this concept, was who was going to lead this green economy? 

LMU’s Dean Jack McCann and I published an article entitled “Benchmarking a Leadership Model for the Green Economy” to address this subject.  This paper examined benchmarking leadership theories in order to build a new leadership model for the green economy.  This academic journey opened my eyes on the green economy.

Let’s explore this green economy. Many hope that the green economy will provide new prosperity for America’s future. The current economy is fueled exclusively by oil, natural gas, and coal. As these resources continue to become scarce, the cost increases.

On the contrary, the green economy is environment friendly and provides an opportunity for more innovation. Many experts support the green economy concept. Thomas Friedman, author of The World is Flat, suggests that the stage is set for a green economy with billions of people from China, India, and the former Soviet Union demanding their share of the energy treasure chest.

There will be more energy demands to feed the world’s microwaves, vehicles, and other power hungry technology.  Friedman argues that this global demand would create an environmental disaster. This reality could infuse a new desire for renewable energies and environmental sustainable systems.

For example, Michigan has created more than 11,000 renewable energy jobs in four years; these jobs are compensated with sustaining a fair and equitable wage. Critics argue that some jobs will be lost as more rigorous energy regulations are in place and companies are forced to make energy transitions.

Jerome Ringo, the former president of the Apollo Alliance which has a coalition that promotes clean energy and green jobs, further maintains that these setbacks could be overcome by taking the proper steps. Therefore, the green economy could become a positive driving force in the future.

Ringo argues that green jobs could revive the U.S. economy while resolving some of the worst environmental problems facing the world. He points to this fact based on several states implementing the green economy.  However, other individuals have their doubts about any financial success from the green economy.

What do you foresee as leadership challenges for launching the green economy?  Please share your personal or professional experience on this subject.

 

© 2012 by Daryl D. Green