Is no job safe? 10 lessons learned from China and India that are your job future. Maybe.


I am ever thankful to my buddy Al. It seems that he is busy reading all the good stuff that I would be reading if I wasn’t ever so busy reading all the other good stuff. Good being relative, of course.

Earlier today Al posted a piece called Your Next Job: Made in India or China – 10 Ideas That Will Change the World by TIME.

Often I am busy giving seminars on economics, business trends and ideas that create jobs. Am a fan of Thomas Friedman and his The World is Flat thesis that India and China (and other countries) aren’t so much taking our jobs from us as we are failing to compete for them. Friedman’s views back up nicely to Your Next Job: Made in India or China article that Al recommended.

One thesis excerpted from Your Next Job: Made in India or China:

“The advance of China and India demands an overhaul in the way we think about jobs. You might just find, for example, that your biggest customers are in Chengdu, not Chicago, or that your boss sits in New Delhi, not New York City. Your paycheck could come in renminbi or rupees instead of in euros or dollars. Sure, in this new economic order, your job may be lost to Chinese or Indian workers. But don’t worry. They’ll give it right back.”

I’m not sure that they will really give it right back. There is no reason however that we can’t win those jobs back — BUT we will have to play the Globalization v3.0 game to do it.

Globalization v3.0 = the ability to harness market and human capital to compete against any city, county, region or country. Instead of talking about how India is winning our jobs we need to focus on how Indianapolis or Jacksonville or Des Moines can restructure itself to take on the world.  The downside of being more competitive is that American industry will not attempt this on its own. When you are wed to quarterly profit predictions then restructuring to take on the world is seldom of interest — not when it also requires that you think about the needs of people in the communities affected. India and China have a competitive advantage in that their industry can experiment with different business structure because things like child care, health care, and the social safety net are separately provided.

So I was thinking that maybe if things got desperate then I could become a barista — making people happier through hotter, faster, tastier coffee.

Now that bubble is in danger of popping too. It turns out that one Chinese restaurant in Malaysia now uses robots to run much of its business. Not in the kitchen but up front with customers. Robots take orders, serve and even makes chat.

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