Anheuser-Busch Briefing Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
1615 H St NW, Washington, D.C.
Registration and Breakfast: 8:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.
“In a dynamic world, there is no single way to approach an issue, and we must learn from one another in the process of trying to move the debate forward.” – Margaret Spellings, President, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The Business Horizon Quarterly (BHQ) is the Forum for Innovation's signature publication. Its purpose is to share informed insights on emerging issues facing the American business community. By asking questions like “what is growth?” and “what is innovation?”, the Forum aims to inform and to spur debate.
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A simple change in viewpoint can make a powerful difference for business leaders. An abundance mindset is a game changer that changes how the rules of innovation are perceived.
Not enough jobs, not enough funding, not enough invention, not enough patents, not enough innovation—not enough. This language is symptomatic of a scarcity mindset. A scarcity mindset, within reason, helps ensure we keep our focus. The scarcity mindset helps us to plan, budget, and forecast, all so that we may run a lean business, allocate our resources wisely, and act carefully within our limits.
An abundance mindset focuses instead on the emergence of new opportunities and the creation of new options, which in turn leads to bigger thinking. With an abundance mindset, people ask “what if” and “why not?”
With an abundance mindset, opportunities for more learning and successes are equally celebrated as milestones toward a longer and oftentimes larger vision. Once you start to look for more, you soon see more everywhere around you, and you begin to expect more too.
Business author Steven Covey discussed this “abundance mentality” in his 1989 bestselling book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. An abundance mentality occurs when a person believes there are enough resources and success to share with others, and Covey argues that turning this belief into a personal habit soon leads to leadership results.
In antiquity, much of the world's recorded knowledge was located in one spot: the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Nearly every culture and empire of that era recognized the library as the epicenter of scholarship. Today, however, information is increasingly decentralized. Alexandria's vast repositories of papyrus scrolls could now fit onto a single flash drive. In the 21st century, digital information is being created, analyzed, and stored at an astonishing rate. Consider that 90% of the world's data has been produced in just the last two years. This explosion of information is known as “Big Data,” and it is completely transforming the world around us.
Big Data is already an integral part of every sector in the global economy—as essential a factor of production as physical and human capital. Much of our modern economic activity simply could not function without it. The main driver of Big Data is the nearly incalculable amount of transactional data being produced by companies, financial institutions, and online intermediaries. This includes trillions of bytes of information about buyers, suppliers, and operations of critical interest to businesses and financial analysts.
At first glance, few people would describe government involvement in private business activities as a game changer. After all, the government for more than two centuries has played a part in business activity. The Commerce Clause in the U.S. Constitution granted the federal government authority to regulate certain types of commerce.
Yet what if government's role in business operations is increasing and even at an all-time high? That might prompt astute observers to call the government-business relationship a game changer.
One way to answer that question would be to find a smart way to measure the magnitude and impact of government actions on business.
Government Impact from a Company Perspective
Some people have already tried to measure the magnitude of the government-business nexus. They've counted the number of regulations enacted, tried to assess the rules’ monetary impact, or tracked legislation cleared by Congress. Yet none of these measures, together or alone, provide an absolute answer to the question of magnitude, and all of them focus solely on the government side of the relationship.
Following the release of a report on the nation’s manufacturing employee skills gap by The Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte in October 2011, concern among American manufacturers has focused on how to resolve this seemingly persistent human capital problem. The good news is that there are nationwide human resource development initiatives now underway to address this manufacturing sector employee skills gap. In this report, we describe some of the key training initiatives that have emerged recently to close the critical skills gap. To address the more immediate short-term demands for skilled factory workers, certification programs like the “Right Skills Now” program are training workers in accelerated, fast-track programs. Additionally, some manufacturers have renewed their own traditional company-focused programs to train skilled workers internally. For the longer term workforce needs of U.S. manufacturers, applied training programs that include industry internships are being actively developed by community colleges around the country.