Thursday, November 13, 2008

Gambling on the Economy

We have all been reading about the economic crisis. Governments trying to prop up failed financial institutions and auto manufacturing. I am dismayed to hear of organizations that receive our taxpayer dollars to keep them afloat. If my firm was on the verge of bankruptcy, would the government come to my aid? We all know the answer to that question. Yet I employ individuals who would lose their jobs. (fortunately we are doing quite well)

The organizations vying for our tax dollars haven't been innovative. Nor have they kept up with market trends. They have gambled their earnings, even though gambling for individuals is illegal. Some organizations who are not doing as well as they should gamble in hedging fuel prices. For example, Air Canada is locked into higher oil prices owing to their hedging (gambling) on what future oil prices will be. Others are hedging on how low the price will go. Again, gambling.

These organizations should be allowed to declare bankruptcy and seek protection accordingly. This will force them to re-invent themselves, to become more innovative and to identify market trends. If they cannot - then they should go under. In our history, large organizations have gone under and others have risen in their ashes, highering their employees, taking over their market share and bringing greater prosperity.

I am concerned that somehow this has changed and we will pay dearly for the mistakes of those with whom we have never had control and even now, giving them our tax dollars, will still have no control.

I have written about innovation. This is the new trend. Either become innovative or be replaced. It is that simple. Developing a culture of innovation is a journey. I'm surprised at how few organizations are embarking on it.