Thursday, October 16, 2008

Is Inaction the Best Way Forward?

The US economic meltdown has most companies so unsure of the future they don't know what to do next. The fact is that today's professionals haven't dealt with such an uncertain situation. One of the key questions is, "Should we wait to see, or should we do whatever we think is the best way forward?" The following question is, "If we do something, what happens if it proves to be the wrong thing? What happens if things change again?" That can often lead back to inaction.

I suggest that while precipitous action may be a bad idea, inaction is not going to help. We can either become pawns at the whim of a storm, or we can try to make a new future. We're not all powerful. We can't be flawless. We will have ups and downs, but we can also be creative and insightful. I think this could be the key time to build ethical and productive international business models for the future. Europe had a meltdown in the 20s along with the US a few years later, yet the respective economies ultimately recovered and boomed with a model of better macro-oversight.

Francis Schaeffer, the philosopher, once wrote a book, "Small is beautiful". I think this a great motif for a new international expansion model. Typically most multi-nationals have become multi-national by buying companies, not by expanding from the ground up. In my view the company that understands how to build from the ground up internationally will be the company that becomes strongest in the next few decades. How can we build from the ground up? Do you agree?

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