With the era of the credit economy coming to a close, it's time to think ahead. The race to the bottom is over, the chief beneficiaries being China and India's ability to close the gap in economic output and increase of skilled labour.
While there is a lot of talk about China and India being the next economic engines--each country now has a 'middle class' that exceeds that of North America--both have a long ways to go before they establish the kind of trusted rules and legal frameworks that integrates them into a globalized economic network.
They will also compete on price for some time to come.
Companies based in North America have two basic choices:
--compete on price
--compete on value
If we want to be the leaders in creating a sustainable economy, an economy that not only continues to be the economic engine of a global economy, but one that will be the model to follow, we need to re-think what we compete on, what kind of companies and corporations we want to transform towards, what kind of values we want to promote.
Anybody can compete on price, that's a loser's game. Competing on value takes courage, commitment and real leadership. That is where the winners of the emerging post credit economy will gravitate towards.
The next generation of North American enterprises will understand the bigger, long term picture, and recognize that sustainable business models can't rely on cutting costs, cutting human resources, can't rely on credit incentives to grow and thrive in the world we are heading towards.
Companies with true leadership, that adapt to the new paradigm of organization models, will be able to get employee buy in, consumer buy in, and perhaps most importantly, investor buy in.
For The Unconventional Consultant, that is where the sustainable future lies. A sustainable global economy, one that can meet the incredible array of challenges the future is bringing simply can not rely on the business and economic models that brought us to this point.
As a continent, we need to open our eyes, open our minds, and lead with our conscious to gain back all that was lost the last ten years, and once again become the model that all others what to emulate.