Posts Tagged ‘2012 Election’

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DINOSAUR BUSINESS LEADERS

May 16, 2012

Yeah! for Minnesota’s Dave Foster, formerly a director of United Steelworkers District 11 as well as faculty member at UM Carlson School of Management…who has spoken up about REAL impacts of Romney and BAIN, using 750 workers at GST Steel to show the errors in Romney”s incessant boast about job creation!  Foster argues that BAIN’S majority stake in GST and its failure is much more realistic “fact” than taking full credit for growth at Steel Dynamics where BAIN’S 20% interest had much less impact.

Foster references BAIN practices that proved disasterous and suggested that in today’s world of global pricing and other changes, one cannot expect to succeed applying outdated, inffective methods – especially when you are funded by highly-leveraged investors looking for the quick financial win.

This thinking resonates with me, and is finally an opening in this almost irrelevant argument regarding Romney’s skills and business expertise reminsicent of the 1970s-90s.

We may joke about his out-of-touch reference to the “soviets” and suggest that he may not be a rock-star on Foreign Policy, but WHY do we not question expertise gained in a time gone-by that fueled an era that culminated in the practices of the first decade of the 2lst century that destroyed our economy and is the reason for the economic debate in the first place?  This makes no sense to me at all.

We need to take seriously the fact that his claim to fame for business acumen are based on a BY-GONE time which has almost no real relationship to successful “business” in today’s global and digital world. And I do know of what I speak.

I was there in corporate Amerca – along with Romney – through the 1970s-90s – and was not only the “first woman director” in two organizations, but also the “first woman vice president” in one.  Because of the business I was in, I knew a little bit about a LOT of US businesses from manufacturing to service industries, their cultures and many of their executive staff.  Some were stars; some not so much. And I can say without a doubt if the thought-leaders of that by-gone era did not make 180 degree shifts in their thinking to RE-INVENT themselves to meet changing times and needs, they would be failures in today’s world – not leaders.

But don’t take my opinion as reason to question..just look at changes in manufacturing today…many  are out of work today because technology and robots  has changed the needs in a factory, and many of the under- and unemployed no loger fit the needs. Innovative business leaders that are enjoying success today have moved past the practices of the 20th century and re-invented themselves and their businesses to reflect the world of today.  Lets not dismiss the fact that today businesses have returned to equal productivity experienced before 2008 – they simply are doing it with Five Million less people.  Give me a couple examples of innovative or fast-thinking Romney moments in the campaign so far, and you might give me pause to rethink if I have judged too hastily.

Surely one should question his Leadership ability -saving a long-ago Olympics or not – when we have seen for months that he seems to be having some difficulty LEADING the infuential members as well as general populus of the Republican Party to even support him with enthusiasm in his bid for election.

In a world that is rejecting top-down, “do as I say”, management and embracing the collaborative, innovative, connected world in which we live today, is Romney really what we want as the next leader of our country?

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RELIGIOUS RIGHTS & FREEDOMS; WOMEN’S RIGHTS & FREEDOMS

February 19, 2012

It’s no secret that I became an OBAMA fan four years ago because I viewed him as a thinker of the 21st century…I felt strongly that he was of a new generation that had easily made the transition from the old industrial and service world and all that entailed, to an explorer of the century that lay before us.  I related to him because I saw him trying to conquer-in the world of politics and government- the same world of nay-sayers I was trying to conquer in my own small world of meetings and events- the comfort of tradition.  And through these four years as I’ve watched and evaluated and judged, I’ve found him, on balance, to be a good example of the tech-powered collaborator, searching for integrated solutions – just like he said he would do. That means he posed a threat to the Good Old Boys who at all costs, want to block change and the arrival of the “future” for which they are not prepared-wrapping themselves in the self-rightousness of past tradition.  And that means that along the way, as a risk-taker, he has experimented and sometimes failed – as we all do – then learning from his mistakes, made adjustments and moved on.

There is no doubt that the original healthcare mandate regarding payment for contraceptives was a miscalculation.  In the Obama administration, it was seen as a step driven by healthcare costs and women’s rights-and so they missed evaluating it from the perspective of the Republicans – who pounced on its omission of needed consideration of impact on religious freedom.  And perhaps, from a political point of view, having moved on to other pressing concerns, the Obama Administration-as the storm cloud began to form- took too long to respond to, reevaluate and rectify the issues that ensued.

Personally, assuming that in those 10 days, he was putting the country’s issues ahead of his own political future, I applaud him for focusing on his job, and not his career – nevertheless, it has created chaos across the land!

Charged up by experiencing a week when the country applauded their stance, the Republicans, despite the changes made, will not let it go.  And I say to them loud and clear:  “Judge not, that you be not judged.”  Matthew 7:1

Blinded by the glee of your “feel good” week, you have made a major miscalculation that I hope will bring you to your knees.

With a few angry and nasty words, you took me and so many other women around me back to the world of the l960s-70s and awakened a survival instinct in us so much stronger than a desire to win a US presidential election!

Immediately, the returning pain in my stomach and shortness of breath signaled “fight or flight”.  Whether women were out front as the “libbers”, or took measures, quietly and effectively, that conquered you and what you thought you did best, we were a united majority, supporting one another to achieve certain inalienable rights of the Declaration of Independence, expanded upon in the 19th Amendment to the Constitution and rightfully fought for through the almost 100 ensuing years!

Make no mistake, we have not forgotten that struggle and will choose to fight again-no matter our political inclination.  In November, you, too, shall be judged.

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THE GRAND OLD PARTY

January 21, 2012

Whenever I tune into the political discourses surrounding the selection of the 2012 Republican presidential candidate for the 2012 election, I am reminded that this party and the media covering the battle are perhaps the single greatest example of a world refusing to accept that we are now in the SECOND decade of the 21st century.
In 2008, an election based on change and hope and preparation for the future was won by Obama. He won for the message; he won because he used tools from the 21st century to garner support and buy-in; and he won because more people than not were interested in preparing our country to first survive, and then excel in a world that was changing around us. The growing financial crisis and missteps of the early 2000s caused an economic collapse that shifted the emphasis in the short term, but it has not changed the need to reassess and reset how we think. Nor does it mean we can destroy the technological advances of the 20th century that replaced people with robots in factories and created a need for people educated in the ways of the digital age, not the industrial age.
And yet, instead of re-evaluating how to best “catch up”, the GOP seemingly dug in – back to their roots in the mid 19th century as an agrarian culture was slowing transitioning to an industrial age. The topics and comparisons and examples of how things should be done today continually drill down from a time beginning with FDR/Truman and moving to the glory years of Eisenhower, Goldwater and Reagan – reflective of a time 30-80 years ago.
COME ON PEOPLE!! What about life in 2012 has much similarity to life from 1950 to 1990?
Is there a single politician out there who has a plan for collaborative growth that will prepare us to continue our leadership role in the world? Is there a plan that recognizes the rest of the world is using those very technological advances and positions we are so proud of has created a NEW WORLD? Does anyone have a position on how to revise our educational system which was based on needs of an industrial age and flawed thinking about how the brain works and how one learns? Does anyone in that party understand that the world is progressing without us because others listen, reflect and collaborate with one another? Does anyone in that party even TRY to visual a world and a country driven by the exponential growth of technology and new understandings of how things work? And if so, does anyone even attempt a dialogue on what we need to do to prepare?
Over and over, I am amazed about this. As a borderline traditionalist/baby boomer, the only explanation I have for this phenomenon is that dwelling on the past and holding it up as our model wraps us in a euphoria of fond memories of our younger days – days that for some, were days when race and gender prejudice ruled, and religious issues raged…and that was all ok.
But for the good of the country, we can only hope that once the Repos select a candidate, the emphasis will move AWAY from the Good Old Days to what we as a people need to do to catch up with the 21st century, and the GRAND OLD PARTY will have a choice…RETHINK or RETREAT to your smoke-filled rooms of the past and let our country get on with what we need to do to prepare us all for the New World we are already immersed in!