Chris J Powell

Fueling Growth…What will the Future Hold?

All around the world very smart people are looking at how will the future unfold and sustain the next generation.  Is the future really about Green Technology? Is Information the Next Oil? Will humanity need to choose between the Environment and Quality of Life? Is Western Society in an unrecoverable decline?  In looking out to the Interwebz today and over the past week after having several discussions with my clients about Innovation I wonder…How can I help to Fuel Growth?

When working with my customers who are for the most part IT Professionals (although I do work with several HR Professionals as well) I see a common thread among them all…they want to be a positive vessel of change for their organization.  Maybe it is because I sell ideas that I am lucky enough to have so many very positive and forward thinking people that keep me on top of my game but I wonder…how can I take this and Fuel Growth not only for my own company…but for the businesses that I strive to interact with every day?

There is no doubt that the Western Economies are at a cross roads.  Our society as a whole is struggling with global competition that is even further fueled by a chasm that is the cost to manufacture the things we want.  There has been more than a few calls for Apple (an American Company) to bring the production of its most successful products back to America…and the real question is…would it be cost effective to do so?

Would doing this fuel sustainable growth for Apple?  The iPad and iPhone are not really popular anywhere other than in North America…the workers are not the ones buying them.  The reality is, would Apple have been able to be as successful as it had been if they had built an iPod City here in North America rather than in China?  The simple math is not a chance.  The average hourly wage for Foxxconn’s Assembly Line workers is just $2.00 and in the US (lets say Tulsa OK where the wage is 19% less than the National Average) $10.57 (based on a $22,000 Salary)…for those 230,000 employees that are in China…the move back to the US would cost Apple an extra $4 Billion per year…and we all know that that average salary would go up dramatically the second that the plant opened its doors.

Growth is not just about satisfying our Consumer Driven demands though…it is about building a sustainable future.  The move by Apple to have the iPhone, iPod and iPad built in China allowed them to focus on higher paying knowledge based jobs here in North America.  That $4 Billion (some experts say this is as much as $25 Billion) could not have been spent or invested in the continued development…and would have likely stifled the innovation that Apple has been so well known for.

For you and me though…what can we do to Fuel the Future?  What is it about our lives that can make a difference today and be a catalyst for change tomorrow?  I think back to my post yesterday about the Disruptors and Mark Shuttleworth being a catalyst for change with Canonical and Ubuntu.  How can each and everyone of us, regardless of what our position or station in life is take a stand and make a positive and real change?  It can be a personal change, one that affects one other person, another family, a company, a city, a province or state…or if your ambitions are even grander…what can you do to change your Country or the World?

Just like the dripping kitchen faucet that is driving my whole family crazy right now…an Ocean starts with just one drop.


Will that be Growth?  Will that enable a chain of events that will end up changing the world?  Will tomorrow be different than today?  The only way to find out…is to do something different.


Chris J Powell

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