Whenever I'm with Steve barnett, he's usually drinking and I'm the designated driver. Mostly because he and my wife are members of a wine club and when they go on high-class pub crawls (or winery tours) and I of the cardboard palate drive the people mover. When he talks about business he reminds me a lot of Johnnie Moore and Rob Paterson; and me. Learn fast: things aren’t (ever) returning to “normal”.
National Bank (NZ) Chief Economist Cameron Bagrey... confessed he’s embarrassed that his profession’s consistently got it wrong: failed to predict the current recession and doesn’t have a clue how to fix.Actually, if Steve thinks its only NZ managers, he's dreaming. The managerial class is global, its largely responsible for the problem and will cling to its paycheque till the collapsing businesses they parasitise crumble in their hands.
He says only one thing’s for certain: we can’t go back to the way it was. Anyone who thinks that things will return to “normal” is stupid. The policy makers are determined it won’t; determined we figure out new ways to do, manage and teach business and the economy. Previous answers are wrong.
[...] I seriously doubt NZ Business Education can change from its prescriptive right-answer model any time soon, hobbled as it is by administrators and their anti-professional, centralised rules and controls, and know-no-better student and employer market.
I’m sceptical too that NZ business managers can abandon their manager-knows-best, right-answer approach any time soon: go deeper than recite the superficial lists of “secrets” peddled in popular business management literature.
[...] Here’s the guts: (really) involve everyone; confess ignorance (starting at the top); spend time together generating a long term goal that everyone’s passionate about but not sure how to achieve; get very clear on the medium term strategy and short term goals that stand to take you towards the long term; openly generate and agree clear individual and collective accountabilities in achieving the change; openly measure progress to keep individuals and groups (at all levels) openly accountable for their contribution; continually review and revise in the light of individual and collective experience; take every opportunity to talk about the long term goal and the actual action and progress towards it.I think he's optimistic here.
In the new normal, we have so little idea of what will work that the idea of goals and strategies may be a waste of time as well. As our energy and financial resources are decimated we will gain new appreciations of those resources that are left.
I think there might be some new parameters that will have more power in the future.
- We will demand much higher value returns for any of those irrecoverable resources that we expend, especially if we hand them to someone else.
- We will increasingly trade time for goods and services. Where we have invested a lot througout my lifetime in "saving time" we will now "spend" or invest, that time ratrher than use a resource like energy.
- Things will slow down in some areas such as travel and material flows
- Information shipping will speed up as we reduce even further the documentary exchanges and rely more on electronics (saving paper, energy etc)
- Discretionary spending will evaporate and the industries based on them will disappear. If we spend more time waiting, travelling or producing things we will have less liesure time and less money to spend in it.
- Energy and material flows at a personal, community and business level will become a critical part if every economic model and activity.
- The idea of waste will disappear, we will be much more conscious that we can't 'afford" it any more. The idea that we should pay for packaging, then pay to have it taken away and pay again in opportunity costs merely to have a wrapper will become laughable, if not criminal
- Product design, durability, ease of use and fitness for purpose will become absolute criteria for everything
- We will all need to try many, small actions that may or may not succeed. We will need to be deadly honest about the outcomes and rethink those that fail while iterating those that seem to succeed.
- We will need to acknowledge that, at a time of paradigm shift, nothing will be reliable for quite a long time; what worked yesterday may not work again tomorrow. That is why small, iterative actions will be the only safe ones, there will be no more going large.
- Your turn. What other geenral rules do you think might fit here and does this make any sense at all?
I put in a work bench for building things and a wet area for wine making and a pot still for recovering essential oils from the flowers and herbs and plenty of space for creating stuff and storing it and for tools and consumables like glues and screws and so forth.
And then I stood back and realised that I am making not just a workshop a small artisanal factory that would fit in the 19th century or earlier. I'm doing it because it is the logical outcome of thinking about local production andtrying to close the energy and material flow loops as tightly as possible.
When i build stuff, I use screws not nails so that everything can be dismantled and used again in something else. More rules.
- Low energy dismantle-ability
- Repurposing all manner of manufactures
- Building things that can be applied to new uses
- Shared spaces, shared tools, shared skills