Shift, Stumble and Sway
We have never been as globally connected as we are today. It has become a simple fact of life that when something happens overseas the ripple effect quickly impacts the value of our money, the quality of our investments and all angles of our businesses. Simple examples of the global economy twisting and turning exist from all sides of the ocean, from the American debt ceiling debates and Greek austerity to earthquakes in Japan and labor union strikes in South America. Commerce is no longer local and in today’s world of mass communication when an event occurs somewhere around the globe, the impact is like that of an earthquake and can be felt literally in a matter of minutes.
After the earthquake on the East Coast, my coworkers, all of whom felt the building shake beneath their feet, and I got to talking about the architecture here and the inelasticity of the buildings and bridges up and down the East Coast. While the earthquake itself may not have ranked high on the Richter scale, our Eastern urban landscape has been constructed quite differently than say the high-rise buildings in Los Angeles. Philadelphia’s skyscrapers can be seen as a symbol of many traditional businesses, not built to endure seismic shifts. Today there is much talk about seismically retrofitting buildings along the East Coast. And in my meager understanding of such engineering, the key to a building surviving the seismic shifts of a powerful earthquake is flexibility.
And there it is—the key to a building maintaining structure during an earthquake is the exact same key that businesses will need to survive in a global economy. So stay nimble and be ready for anything. Keep on top of current events across the globe so you can anticipate the impact it will have at home. Keep up to date with technology, it is the lifeblood of global economies and communications. Maintain a wider net of possibilities—you never know where your next opportunity may come from. And above all else, be flexible.