My friend Joan Steidl was recently asked about her thoughts on the election. She responded, “We are living in a rapidly changing world. Both parties are offering old solutions that haven’t worked. What we really need are some new ideas.”

Her words have haunted me.

Our traditional semi-free market approach isn’t working as demonstrated by the problems surfacing with big corporations these last few years. Socialism on the other hand has never worked and many European Socialist countries are moving towards more semi-free markets. Both of these approaches have been hierarchical, top down, command and control models that favored big business and big government.

At the same time, the world seems to be collapsing before our very eyes. Industries are failing, people are losing their jobs, our government grows ever bigger and demands a bigger portion of our resources while our political leaders are telling us that Bank of America, AIG, General Motors and others are too big to fail. Enough is enough!

The models we have used and are using date back to the late 19th century when the problem was how to get semi-skilled workers to do the same things over and over again, consistently and efficiently. The hierarchical models of leadership in business and government are no longer appropriate in today’s world. This is especially true when you realize today’s economy demands innovative, individualized solutions. It is time for new ideas... and new faces.

The basic truth is that big organizations are sluggish, have big problems and the potential for big corruption. Small organizations are agile, have small problems and the potential for corruption is kept small.

One of the lessons from Iraq and Afghanistan has been the success of more efficient and effective methods to achieve the objective while minimizing collateral damage. We have seen the transition from massive carpet bombing to individual smart bombs, from large helicopters and planes to small unmanned drones and large troop movements to small special operations units.

In science there is a growing interest in Quantum Physics (the study of the smallest individual units of energy) which is radically different than the science we have known.

The time has come to move away from large, slow moving, corrupt institutions to smaller more adaptable, innovative and agile ones. Large entities must be reduced into smaller more malleable units. Then if they fail, the downside is minimized. More smaller organizations will innovate and try different approaches giving us more options from which to chose.

If you incorporate the idea that the future of products and services lies in more customized solutions, then smaller more focused and adaptable organizations are the solution.

©? Copyright Bob Cannon/The Cannon Advantage, 2009. All rights reserved.

Author's Bio: 

Bob Cannon turns managers into leaders who enhance performance and profitability in their organizations. Check out other interesting articles available in the Taking Aim newsletter available at Bob can be reached at (216) 408-9495.

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