“You know that none of this is real,” he told the moderator privately afterwards. “All this talk about creativity and becoming innovative? It’s all fine, but it’s not real. It doesn’t solve my business problems.”
The gentleman who attended one of my talks on creativity and innovation—the theme of The Boiling Frog Dilemma book—could perhaps be excused for making these remarks. After all, he was a small business owner in southern Ontario with a modest metal fabricating shop. He needs clients and revenue to keep his shop open. All of this talk of colouring with crayons and thinking creatively was, well, almost insulting.
I never had the chance to speak with him directly (his comments were passed on to me by the conference moderator). But if I could have, here’s what I would have said.
You’ve seen the images, either on the hospital dramas on TV, or if you’re unfortunate enough, perhaps, in person.
The victim is having a heart attack, and the doctors gather around with the defibrillator. They press the paddles against the patient’s chest and… CLEAR!! (BAM!!) – they shock the chest with charges of electricity to try to get the heart pumping again. If it doesn’t work at first, there’s a second attempt. CLEAR! BAM! And so on. As time goes by, additional attempts often become more desperate.
Metaphorically, this is what the US Federal Reserve (America’s central bank) has been attempting with its so-called “quantitative easing”—shock the U.S. labour force back to life by pumping billions of dollars into the economy. They’ve already engaged in two paddle hits to the economy’s chest back in 2009 and 2010. On September 13, they announced a third.
A Summary of the Past Twelve Months
September 7, 2013
So far, 2013 has proven to be another wild ride for the global economy, and Alberta has been riding both the ups and the downs.