Tom Peters has “16 Hard Truths”. Among them:
1. “Off-shoring” will continue; the tide cannot be reversed.
2. Service jobs are a bigger issue than manufacturing jobs, by an order of magnitude.
3. The automation of business processes is as big a phenomenon in job shrinkage as off-shoring.
7. The wholesale, increasingly upscale entry of 2.5 billion people (China, India) into the global economy at an accelerating rate is virtually unfathomable. Unfathomable = Unpredictable, exceptional challenges, amazing opportunities.
11. Job creation is entrepreneurially led, especially by the small fraction of “start-ups” that become growth companies (Microsoft, Amgen, FedEx et al.); hence entrepreneurial incentives including low capital-gains taxes and high R&D supports are a top priority.
12. Primary and secondary education must be reformed, in particular to underscore creativity and innovation — the mainstays of high-value added products and services. Children should be nurtured on risk-taking, with a low expectation of corporate cosseting.
16. All economic progression is a matter of moving up the “value-added chain.” (This is not “management speak”: Think farm to factory to R&D lab.) The good news: Technology change is so vigorous for the foreseeable future that those who can “seize the moment” have lots of room to play.
Adds John Robb: “[Tom’s] conclusion: we need to train many, many more creative, risk-taking entrepreneurs. That will require a massive shift in how we educate our youth. The only reliable indicator of whether you will be an entrepreneur: you are the son or daughter of an entrepreneur. If that skillset can’t be transferred more generally, most people will be left behind.”