The world’s financial melt down has some scary parallels with the global environmental melt down which was previously taking over businesses and politicians agendas and statements. Analogies appear to recycle a new cataclysmic phrases. Different ‘tipping points’ have become standard phraseology.Warnings of extinction abound and ‘the world as we know it’ seems to be a standard sentence ending.It is certainly a real test of what people say and they do.
Politicians now have an even more difficult balancing act, having signed up for new new green sustainability practices.They now face short term nightmares involving basic economic survival, and their own.
Similarly businesses are struggling to ‘walk the talk’ having broadcast their ethical, planet and community credentials.Being sharper, meaner and more efficient is fine but survival means hard decisions to maintain solvency and competitive advantage.Cutting out the fat, downsizing, ‘dynamic right-sizing’, and ‘rebalancing’ do not disguise the implications for people and communities. U.S. car executives pleading for money managed to leave their corporate jets at home the second time round but it indicated ingrained old corporate habits and values. Reverting to ‘keeping wells pumping’ is a priority when saving balance sheets comes before saving the world.
That wonderful word ‘decoupling’ described a nice idea when countries could argue how they could, and should, do their own thing.How a few months has changed the rhetoric.Decoupling from the global disaster train is now impossible, ‘working together’ is at least a positive global ethic.
Meltdowns provide opportunities and reasons for change.New better ways of being and doing will naturally emerge in the new ‘climates’, whether in the natural or financial world, to achieve a fast track response.Lets hope there is a change in the way we report and communicate on these matters – from now on global ‘meltdowns’ and ‘tipping points’ should be banned.No doubt management gurus will continue to repackage the old ultimate truisms of ‘adopt … adapt .. improve’ but hopefully with some more imaginative terminology for a new age of optimism and change.