Monday, January 17, 2011

Martin Luther Day’s 7 “Point of View”: How to Revitalize American Dream

From every mountainside, let freedom ring! And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. Martin luther King Jr.

Today is Martin Luther Day holiday, when listening to the rhetoric speech “I have a dream” made by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. about half century ago, you could still feel so strongly about his passion, his piece of anger, his poetic style and his deep love about this land.
In the last couple of decade, America made significant progress in civic rights, it’s a dream come true for boys and girls, no matter you are black, white, yellow or brown., etc, who sit and learn at the same classroom; diversified people worked in the same workplace, and the last decade, maybe it’s the lost decade from economic perspective, but United State has elected the first African American President, it’s a great symbolic milestone to fulfill Dr. King’s dream.

However, in today’s global environment, the world becomes more sophisticate and uncertain than ever, how to expand Dr. King’s dream into the global space and explore the cultural intelligence to make a peace in the world?, how to dig Dr. King’s dream deeper into the next level, unite the best of talent and develop the diversified leadership to accelerate the growth from Great Recession?

Here are seven thought-provoking points of view in this special day.

1. Stall Point: The Great Recession
In the first decade of 21st century, we’ve been through the internet bubble and bust, the war and Great Recession, also experienced both the “irrational exuberance” and “unusually uncertainty”. It’s a lost decade for many white-class families, small to large enterprises, the legendary industries (such as airline, auto and bank) and United States as the most powerful nation in the world. It’s a stall point of America Dream, how did it happen, what can we learn from it and are there any opportunities to revive American Dream?

2. Focal Point: The New United Way
“ A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist see the opportunity in every difficulty” Winston Churchill

If you walk through Border’s book shelf, you could find all kinds of books to learn the great ways to do the businesses: from the IBM way: “Who Said the Elephant Can’t Dance” written by former IBM CEO Lou Gerstner (Keep growing bigger but stay agile), or the Intel Way : “Only Paranoid Survive” by formal Intel CEO Andrew S. Grove ( how to exploit the crisis point that challenging every company), plus many other “Good to Great” way: such as:, “The Southwest Way” ( the customer centric service), The Toyota Way (4Ps model-Philosophy, Processes, People and Partners), “The HP Way” ( the garage root and culture), “The Mckinsey Way” (MECE decision tree), and the “The Disney Way” (the destination is to make the customers, the employees, the partners happy). Am I missing some other best way?

In the new decade of 21st century, we need integrate them into the New United Way: growth, governance, customer-centric, sustainability, humanity & humility, analytics and happiness”., etc.

It’s a focal point for Americans to stay focus and lead growth out of recession.

3. Touch Point: The Great Attitude
“We refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there
are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation.” Martin Luther King

In the first decade of 21st century, the world transformed from US-centric into the multi-polar; the economic engine has switched from Western developed countries into Eastern developing countries.

But in many perspectives, America is still a great country on the hill: the democratic system, the innovative technologies, the best universities and the most diversified people in the world.

There’re many reasons to be confident, not arrogance; be positive than negative; toward learning attitude instead of judging

The touch point should be: following Dr. King’s attitude and dream, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, we should work together to rebuild the material and spiritual prosperity base on the foundation of the freedom, liberty and pursuit of the happiness.

4.Infection Point: The Fresh Leadership
"When written in Chinese, the word crisis is composed of two characters. One represents danger, and the other represents opportunity."
~ John F. Kennedy

Great Recession was cause by the leadership failure, since 20th century’s superman or superwoman stereotyped leadership focus on “command and control”, to maintain the organizational hierarchy; it maybe out of fashion to adapt to the new phenomenal such as globility and collective wisdom, to build up the modern learning organization.

The infection point of the new generation of leaders: they must have the global footprint, worldwide vision and strategy, the differential voice for those without voice, and deliver the value and result beyond the quick ROI.

5. Tipping Point: The Culture Intelligence
The deep insight about Dr. King’s American dream is also about “Understanding and accepting diversity enable us to see what each of us is needed”

It takes a decade to craft and master a foreign language and culture. Culture intelligence is a strategic essential for any forward-looking companies, since multi-cultural perspectives are more like wider-angle lens to see through the future than a crystal ball.

The tipping point of Culture intelligence is: the more you learn, the more you get from the collective wisdom, the better value you could create for your organization, the more positive impact you could bring to the human society, to reach the next level of Dr. King’s dream.

5.Inflection Point: The Technology & Information
“An individual without information cannot take responsibility; an individual who is given information cannot help but take responsibility.” Tom Peter

In the last decade, the globalization, the entrepreneurship and the internet & social technology has reached their peak, and bring up the significant influence on human’s life and global society.

The latest technology such as enterprise 2.0, social network, cloud computing, advance analytics, the green tech are the true differentiator to keep the organization at the competitive edge: how to build up the next generation of organization: such as borderless learning company, how to nurture up the next generation of thought leadership by social computing such as blogs, linkedin, facebook, twitter., how to create new business model and extensive enterprise by cloud computing, and how to improve the environmental sustainability by developing green tech.

The inflection point is to converge the cutting-edge technology with the global business insight and landscape, to deliver the next generation of leadership, to design the learning organization framework, and to reach both individual and company’s potential.

7. Starting Point: The Education
“The justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream”
“ The man will be judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin..”
--Martin Luther King Jr.

The best education not only convey and spread the knowledge, more importantly, it will build up the content of character, instill the value of justice, and train the solid self-discipline and self-motivation, and the teachers are the soul engineers.

America has many high quality universities, but K-12 education has lagged behind from many other countries. Especially the STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineer and Mathematics), What are the reasons behind the scenes?

•Is it like the failed leadership, 20th century’s education system is more about US centric, keep the students self-satisfaction than self-motivation?
•Is it because those college dropout technology titans may inspire the innovation and unconventional success, but also cause the side-effect such as 30% high school dropout rate?
•Is it lack of influential role model to inspire more girls to pursuing the technology major and more?

Education is the starting point of revitalizing the America dream, the student, the teachers, the parents and the whole society should work together to inspire the next generation of education, via learning from overseas, enhancing the curriculum, with the latest technology, and the most important thing: to nurture the education-focused culture, value and mindset.

The news about Mr. Steve Job’s medical leave became the top headline in almost all the media channel today, Steve’s “Sell the dream” and “dream bigger” inspire the world with the innovation.

The two men with big dreams, both Dr. King and Steve’s dreams help advance the human society with the different perspective.

May 2011 become the turning point to lift Dr. King’s dream into the new level: to inspire the diversified leadership, to create enough career opportunities for all hard-working American citizens and reach human’s potential.


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