If you watched any TV over the weekend, especially during the Sunday morning news shows between 9 am and noon, you heard the use of the word “change” about a hundred times from both John McCain’s and Barack Obama’s campaign ads. As Joe Biden has implored in various speeches…”Enough!”
It’s not about change, guys. It’s about innovation.
Reading this morning’s New York Times front page feels something like a taste, if not the whole bite, of a 1929 masthead. The features include the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, one of the grand old investment banks; the purchase of Merrill Lynch, America’s Main Street trading house, by Bank of America; AIG’s search for quick cash; and, the use of words like, “plummet,” “jittery,” “failure,” “fall,” “pressure,” and “fear.”
The sub-prime mortgage crisis news was the tip of this iceberg. Our economy needs turning around not by change, my friends, but by innovation.
I caught up on other reading over the weekend, wading through my tall pile of weekly and monthly magazines, including the excellent Technology Review from MIT. This month’s issue features Barack Obama on the cover asking the question, “How Obama Really Did It?” But the story that generated the light-bulb moment in the magazine was on the 35 Innovators Under 35.
Take some time to read about these innovators. They are women and men, and are as young as 23. They work in communications, electronics, health information technology, and nanotechnology. And a great many of them are sons and daughters, and grandsons and granddaughters, of immigrants from places like China and India and Israel and the Netherlands and the former Soviet Union.
Immigration and globalization in this case are integral to an economic growth strategy for the U.S.
It strikes me that all the election rhetoric about ‘change,’ whether from Democrats or Republicans, needs to focus on the meaningful turnaround strategies in a world where finance, science and technology, are inextricably global.
So in addition to a chief-in-command this year, we need a chief-in-turnaround. And in 2008, as opposed to 1929, turnaround requires innovation.
Read about the 25 under 35. Get inspired. It’s time to turn this ship around.
That’s the Hot Point for today.