Umair Haque / Bubblegeneration
umair haque  


Design principles for 21st century companies, markets, and economies. Foreword by Gary Hamel. Coming January 4th. Pre-order at Amazon.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Values Innovation Imperative

I have a hunch. If we're going to escape the teeth of this Great Stagnation, we've got to innovate not just products, services, technologies, or "business models" - but something bigger, deeper, and more enduring: our values.

Why? Think about it this way. Without transforming, literally, what we value - and what we disvalue - the incentives for 21st century products, services, business, companies, markets, jobs, and industries will never (ever) surface. Instead, it's the same old stuff that we'll demand, supply, invest in, and hyperconsume - at the same pace, velocity, intensity, and fury.

So here are four things we have to start valuing discontinuously more.
  • The natural world
  • The future
  • Each other
  • Ourselves
I don't mean that in a fuzzy-wuzzy way. I mean it with razor-sharp precision. We have to literally value those things, make those choices, and emergently turn the entire structure of the economy upside down, so interest rates, rates of return, wages, salaries, employment, consumption rates, savings rates, investment rates - all titanically shift and rebalance in a new dynamic equilibrium.

So here's the conclusion my hunch leads me to.

If our values stay stuck in the rusting, creaking industrial age, we're likely to simply keep on trying to revive the ghost of prosperity past. We'll do, in short, exactly what we've been doing for the last three years: stimulating, bailout out - and crashing and burning.

Because the truth is there's not enough money in the world to pay off industrial age capitalism's debt. It's only with different values that we can spark authentic prosperity.

There's another way of saying that. Want a revolution? Be the revolution. If rebooting capitalism and reigniting prosperity is a function first of different values, then it also means that it begins every second of every day - with every decision you (and I) make.

-- umair // 12:20 AM // 3 comments


This is very true that the foundation for innovation and continued progress is based on values.
But it is also true that we are trapped in "value systems" that need to be have a change of "business model".
Your invitation to move ahead and be part of the revolution is a noble and profound one. There is however a need to connect value and wealth to true progress.

// Blogger Amir B // 1:37 AM

Enlightening & thought provoking words indeedy, on that very journey and rhetoric, plus ethical stance! The values of principles also imperative. (Wisdom Reach Out!!!)
// Anonymous Scott Northcott // 2:10 AM

... and it (your personal input) can be as small as a spider - it is making sense and an impact, that's for sure :-)

Just go!
// Blogger RalfLippold // 8:18 AM
Post a Comment

Recent Tweets


    due diligence
    a vc
    tj's weblog
    venture chronicles
    the big picture
    bill burnham
    babak nivi
    n-c thoughts
    london gsb

    chicago fed
    dallas fed
    ny fed
    world bank
    nouriel roubini


    uhaque (dot) mba2003 (at) london (dot) edu


    atom feed

    technorati profile

    blog archives