In the January 24, 2011 issue of the NY Times, David Brooks shares his thoughts on what it means for the United States to remain competitive in the global economy. Two of the paragraphs literally jumped off the page for me:
In the 20th century, America was the Big Dog nation. We had more money, more resources and more skilled labor, and we could outcompete our rivals by dominating the inputs and the outputs — by pouring in more talent, greater investments and more resources.
In the 21st century, the U.S. will no longer be the Big Dog. Human capital will be more broadly dispersed. There will be an array of affluent nations fully engaged in the global economy. Therefore, competitiveness will be more about organizing relationships than amassing force. To thrive, America will have to be the crossroads nation where global talent congregates and collaborates.
Brooks is right on target.
What all of us know who work with teams and teach teamwork is that relationships are the foundation of high performing teams. Relationships make teams and organizations competitive.
Before the world became flat, leaders didn't need to focus on relationships so much. We were competing with organizations inside our borders. Organizations could remain competitive simply by buying the latest technology (phone, fax, computer, etc.). Then the cost of technology dropped so low that a teenager with a $200 netbook could compete with some of the largest companies on the planet.
The landscape has changed.
Money alone no longer gives you the competitive edge.
Here's how you stay competitive in today's flat world: become masterful at building and leading inspired teams.
We are now in the "inspiration economy" - - our economic success is determined by our ability to (A) be personally inspired and (B) inspire others.
The path to becoming an inspired leader is here: Leader As Coach Fast Track Program