From the current Fordism common sense, The Economist 'cover leader' can be considered to represent a current reality that shows that capitalism all over the world is undergoing a similar “Marketing Myopia” that Theodore Levitt described in 1960 about how the railroad business industry sector over expanded.
This time it is not just an industrial sector, but the whole industrial civilization that has over expanded under the common sense of Fordism in such a way as to create a huge social and environmental systemic crisis for the world as a whole. As a result we should all agree that it is the most important leadership issue being faced right now by humanity.
The key sector behind that systemic crisis and its solution is in general the energy sector and electricity in particular. While there might be disagreements as to whether the Eurozone is the biggest threat, it seems that it is the best place to start the emergent transformation to Jobsism.
Desde el actual sentido común fordismo, el artículo de la portada de The Economist se puede considerar que representa una realidad actual que muestra que el capitalismo en todo el mundo está pasando por una "Miopía de Marketing" semejante a la que Theodore Levitt describió en 1960 acerca de cómo el sector de la industria de negocios de ferrocarril sobre expandió.
Esta vez no se trata sólo de un sector industrial, sino a toda la civilización industrial que se ha sobre expandido en el sentido común del Fordismo de tal manera como para crear una enorme crisis sistémica social y ambiental para el mundo en su conjunto. Como resultado tenemos que ponernos todos de acuerdo que es el tema de liderazgo más importante que se enfrenta en estos momentos por la humanidad.
El sector clave detrás de esa crisis sistémica y su solución es, en general, el sector de la energía y la electricidad en particular. Si bien puede haber discrepancias en cuanto a si la zona euro es la mayor amenaza, parece que es el mejor lugar para comenzar la transformación emergente para Jobsism.
The world economy is not in good shape—and the biggest threat comes from the euro zone. As Angela Merkel and her peers have dithered, the currency union is on the verge of slipping into its third recession in six years and its inflation rate has slipped to 0.3%. Our cover leader warns that deflation is all too close and extremely dangerous.That cover leader is The world’s biggest economic problem, which starts its last paragraph with “behind all this sits a problem of political will” and ends with “Europe’s leaders are running out of time.” As a result we should all agree that it is the most important leadership issue being faced right now by humanity.
While The Economist says “something radical is needed,” in the next to last paragraph, they, like many other highly influential governments and financial institutions, are coming short by asking to increase government expending to invest in tangible goods. Can that increase be advisable at a time when we are facing a huge global environmental and social crisis as a result of an over expansion of those tangible goods, which have been in the making for at least 20 years (maybe 40 if the OPEC embargo is the reference).
It is such an over expansion that invites us to consider the following as it is shown in the new presentation as a Harvard Business Review preview:
“Marketing Myopia” is the quintessential big hit HBR piece. In it, Theodore Levitt, who was then a lecturer in business administration at the Harvard Business School, introduced the famous question, “What business are you really in?” and with it the claim that, had railroad executives seen themselves as being in the transportation business rather than the railroad business, they would have continued to grow. The article is as much about strategy as it is about marketing, but it also introduced the most influential marketing idea of the past half-century: that businesses will do better in the end if they concentrate on meeting customers’ needs rather than on selling products. “Marketing Myopia” won the McKinsey Award in 1960.In its introduction, “Marketing Myopia” says:
Every major industry was once a growth industry. But some that are now riding a wave of growth enthusiasm are very much in the shadow of decline. Others that are thought of as seasoned growth industries have actually stopped growing. In every case, the reason growth is threatened, slowed, or stopped is not because the market is saturated. It is because there has been a failure of management.This time however, it is the failure of managing the whole industrial civilization that was once in growth and that is now in decline in some countries and that have stopped growing in others. This time we can say it is the failure of the current capitalism that's in need of a transformation.
I am able to infer such a marketing myopia because I have written about it on the most important sector of the economy, as can be seen, for example, in the blog post The Utilities’ Business Marketing Myopia Manifesto, where there is an interesting discussion about What Would Steve Jobs Do About Energy Innovation. That 2012 blog post starts by repeating an “an excerpt of the August 2010 EWPC article Answering "What Energy Business Are You In?” As the Way Out of The Third Depression, whose summary is:
During a similar time of great change, railroads and utilities have defined their business incorrectly, by ignoring several insights, like the one Theodore Levitt gave us in his 1960’s Marketing Myopia manifesto. A quote on the 1982 book Megatrends explains utility investors why the attempt to keep a monopoly on the customer relationship, with an ineffective old economy Big-Bang Advanced Metering Infrastructure will further extend the uneconomic over expansion of the resources of the supply side. To reduce the odds of the return of the depression, we need policies for the new economy, like power industry transformation and boring banking, which mutually reinforce each other with the coming communications’ boom to enable innovative value creation and long term jobs.Paraphrasing one of Levitt’s paragraphs on railroads business, this is what the mentioned excerpt says:
The utilities did not stop growing because the need for energy based services (light, air conditioning, refrigeration, etc.) declined. That grew. The retail side of utilities are in trouble today not because that need was filled by others (competitive retailers, energy services companies, energy management companies, solar panel vendors, demand side energy efficiency suppliers, demand response companies, battery manufacturers) but because they could not be filled by the utilities themselves. They let others take customers away from them because they assumed themselves to be in the utility business rather than the energy based services business. The reason they defined their industry incorrectly was that they were utility oriented instead of services oriented; they were product oriented instead of customer oriented...To reaffirm that electricity is the most important sector, please take a look at the article From Electricity under Jobsism to a Golden Age, whose summary says:
As political decay of capitalism takes hold, for example, of the United States and the Eurozone, Germany seems to have the best potential to become the leader of the current technological revolution. Unless the common sense behind Fordism (“the common sense behind” is not repeated but intended from here on before both Fordism and Jobsism) is replaced by Jobsism (after Steve Jobs), the current path towards a Second Middle Ages capitalism will continue under the status quo. Germany is well ahead to be able to take the leadership under the Jobsism agenda to get the Eurozone out of its deep systemic crisis, while renewing to a capitalist system without social and environmental externalities, but it needs France to buy in. France will need to let go Fordism in its regulatory systems, by starting to exercise complete and fully functional deregulation, for example, in electricity under Jobsism, even now that French economist Jean Tirole was awarded the 2014 Nobel Price of Economic Sciences, for his work on regulation which is however restricted by Fordism. [An update to that article says the Tirole has also work valuable for Jobsism]We can now reinterpret as efficiency measures that might make matters a lot worst, the suggestion that The Economist repeated from other parties of introducing structural reforms, when what’s needed to address the marketing myopia is a whole transformation from the industrial civilization to the systemic civilization. To do it, Governments, for example, in the Eurozone, must be asking to increase private sector investment to convert tangible good into intangible ones where appropriate.
This can be seen as a paradigm shift from supply side black gold Fordism projects to demand side green gold Jobsism projects. This is also a shift from money to wisdom as the most powerful currency. Lots of jobs will be generated as the incentives and disincentives are shifted towards addressing the social and environmental systemic problems being faced by humanity, specially at the Bottom of the Pyramid, which is where most of the potential growth is.