Thursday, January 26, 2012


For those of a certain age, the memory of Japan as a manufacturing colossus is fresh.  That was then.  This is now.  How the country has fallen.  It is a lesson in the dynamics of global business.  No one is safe for long, and those on top today have to work hard to stay there. Fears focus now on China with its millions of low-wage workers and enormous production capacity.  This century may well belong to that country, but then again, it might not.  China's political structure could ossify, and its growing middle class become restless.  

The United States is slowly becoming use to the idea that it can no longer boss the world.  Our time of manufacturing might has passed -- at least for now.  There is a chance the US can make a comeback but it won't be tomorrow or in 10 years.  Careers will be spent in rebuilding, if that should happen.

Why bring any of this up?  Because it is a reminder to avoid boasting in communications.  A healthy perspective is a humble one.  Yes, you might be the market leader today, but what about tomorrow?  Those companies that remain focused and moving forward are the long-term winners.  Those that celebrate their status need to watch out.  Think Kodak.


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