The New Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines a miracle as "an unusual event, thing, or accomplishment: a wonder or marvel". What then might be the characteristics of a present day economic miracle? The answer begins with a statement of our current economic situation.
There is a state of global economic malaise in which growth rates have slowed, wealth reserves have been shrunk, corporate equity values have diminished, credit markets have tightened, and employment levels have fallen. And there is serious question as to our ability to fund solutions to our economic and socio-ecological problems without tax increases or governmental deficit spending. Finally there is increased polarization between liberals who favor a strong governmental role in restoring economic equilibrium, and conservatives who prefer less governmental intervention in light of their belief that left to its own inner dynamics the economy will right itself.
In light of the present situation then, a commensurate global economic miracle would:
The key elements of the situation described above wondrously and marvelously reverse the negatives of our present situation, and therefore handily fit the definition of a miracle. But is this achievable or merely a fantasy? After all no solution put forth to date has promised such miraculous results.
Through maximization of collaboration within each industry segment of the global business sphere, this miracle can be achieved. But at present there is little cooperation within each industry segment. Competing businesses even strive to block one another's success. By working together these same firms can create a whole which is greater than the sum of its parts: vast additional wealth can be created beyond the mere sum of the results of the individual businesses in the segment.
To make the mechanics of this more concrete consider an industry segment comprised of 35 firms. Given our present non-collaborative approach these firms will generate their individual results and nothing more. But if our paradigm is shifted to maximizing inter-firm cooperation, we will find that amongst these 35 firms there are 560 lines of relationship. Each line can represent multiple types of collaboration, so within this industry segment there could potentially be thousands of individual pursuable collaborative initiatives. If these opportunities were pursued in each of the world's industry segments we would annually generate many trillions of dollars of wealth in addition to what is already being achieved individually by the world's businesses.
We must pause now and ask ourselves, is it worth opening ourselves to this new paradigm of business in order to unchain this latent potential of the global business sphere? In answering we must consider what could be accomplished with this additional wealth and what our future will be if we do not effectively address the serious challenges we are facing.
In pursuit of this opportunity there will be no sacrifice, just a shift from our current paradigm of business. As a result of inter-firm teamwork individual businesses will be richer than they could possibly be working in isolation. Society and the environment will feel the lifting of the clouds of difficulty gathering on the horizon. We will move with unprecedented speed toward development of the technologies, products, and services of the future. Without experiencing the criticisms of deficit spending, tax increases, or being too involved, government will feel the relief of knowing that the people are being taken care of. So, what will be the sacrifice other than letting go of an approach to business that no longer serves our needs especially in light of our current circumstances? All that stands between us and a global economic miracle is our willingness to embrace the shift.