These are the ten factors describing how the world is becoming “flat” or globally interconnected, thereby allowing businesses all over the world to compete on a more equal playing field. 1. The New Age of Creativity (the fall of the Berlin Wall) This event “tipped the balance of power across the world toward those advocating democratic, consensual, free-market-oriented governance, and away from those advocating authoritarian rule with centrally planned economies. ”
2. The New Age of Connectivity (the rise of the Web) This event “enabled more people to communicate and interact with more other people anywhere on the planet than ever before. ” 3. Work Flow Software This force “enabled more people in more places to design, display, manage, and collaborate on business data previously handled manually,” resulting in more work to be able to flow “between companies and continents faster than ever. ” 4. Uploading (open online collaboration and communities)
This force gave “newfound power [to] individuals and communities to send up, out, and around their own products and ideas, often for free, rather than just passively downloading them from commercial enterprises or traditional hierarchies,” thereby “reshaping the flow of creativity, innovation, political mobilization, and information gathering and dissemination. ” 5. Outsourcing This force meant “taking some specific, but limited, function that your company is doing in-house… and having another company perform that exact same function for you and then reintegrating their work back into your overall operation. 6. Offshoring This force meant being able to manufacture “the very same product in the very same way, only with cheaper labor, lower taxes, subsidized energy, and lower health-care costs” in another country, “then integrating it into [your] global supply chains. ” 7. Supply-Chaining This force allowed “[horizontal collaboration]—among suppliers, retailers, and customers—to create value,” resulting in “the adoption of common standards between companies” and more efficient “global collaboration. ”
8. Insourcing This force allowed “small companies could suddenly see around the world” and sell their products and services globally, while large companies could “act really small” and “customize products at the last minute. ” 9. In-forming This force gave “all the world’s knowledge, or even just a big chunk of it… to anyone and everyone, anytime, anywhere,” resulting in “becoming your own self-directed and self-empowered researcher, editor, and selector of entertainment, without having to go to the library or the movie theater or through network television. 10. The Steriods (computers, the Internet, wireless, and personalization) This force, made up of specific technologies, supercharged all the other flatteners. The Triple Convergence These are the three factors that came together to set off the flattening of the world. 1. Convergence I This is the “convergence of the ten flatteners [into] a whole new platform.
It is a global, Web-enabled platform for multiple forms of collaboration [that] enables individuals, groups, companies, and universities anywhere in the world to collaborate… without regard to geography, distance, time, and, in the near future, even language… —for the purposes of innovation, production, education, research, entertainment, and, alas, war-making—like no creative platform ever before. ” 2. Convergence II This is the “emergence of a large cadre of managers, innovators, business consultants, business schools, designers, IT specialists, CEOs, and workers. 3. Convergence III This is the creation of “horizontal collaboration and value-creation processes and habits that could take advantage of this new, flatter playing field. ” The Great Sorting Out These are the issues that will need to be resolved in the flat world. 1. Offshoring: Who is Exploiting Who? This is where “the world starts to flatten out and value increasingly gets created horizontally… who is on the top and who is on the bottom, who is the exploiter and who is the exploited, gets very complicated. ” The US workers who are out of jobs?
The US customers and citizens who pay lower prices and less taxes? The Indian workers who are paid comparably low wages? The Indian workers who’s comparably low wages raises their standard of living? 2. Where Do Companies Stop and Start? This is where “businesses define their interests and labor opportunities more globally than domestically [and than where they are headquartered],” and “the whole shareholding process demands more and more that these companies perform against global standards, opportunities, and resources. ” 3. From Command and Control to Collaborate and Connect
This is where “hierarchies are not being leveled just by little people being able to act big. They are also being leveled by big people being able to act really small—in the sense that they are enabled to do many more things on their own. ” 4. Multiple Identity Disorder This is where “the tensions among our identities as consumers, employees, citizens, taxpayers, and shareholders are going to come into sharper and sharper conflict. ” For instance, “the Wal-Mart shareholder and shopper in us wans Wal-Mart to be [keep company profits high] and prices low. “But the Wal-Mart worker in us hates the limited benefits and low pay packages. ” “And the Wal-Mart citizen in us knows that because [Wal-Mart doesn’t fully cover employee health care costs], the taxpayers will end up picking up the tab. ”
5. Who Owns What? This is where we need to decide whether we “build legal barriers to protect an innovator’s intellectual property so he or she can reap its financial benefits and plow those profits into a new invention, [or] keep [the] walls low enough so that we encourage the sharing of intellectual property, which is required more and more to do cutting-edge innovation. 6. Death of the Salesmen This is where efficiency and automation is replacing human beings. “It’s hard to create a human bond with e-mail and streaming Internet. ” America and Free Trade This is the idea that “even as the world gets flat, America as a whole will benefit more by sticking to the general principles of free trade, as it always has, than by trying to erect walls, which will only provoke others to do the same and impoverish us all. ” And “while protectionism would be counter-productive, a policy of free trade, while necessary, is not enough by itself.
It must be accompanied by a focused domestic strategy aimed at upgrading the education of every American, so that he or she will be able to compete for the new jobs in the flat world. ” The New Middlers These are the job categories that will make up the new middle-class in the flat world. 1. Great Collaborators and Orchestrators These are jobs that “involve collaborating with others or orchestrating collaboration within and between companies, especially those employing diverse workforces from around the world. ”
2. The Great Synthesizers . These are jobs that involve “putting together disparate things that you would not think of as going together. ” 3. The Great Explainers These are jobs that involve “[seeing] the complexity but [explaining] it with simplicity. ” 4. The Great Leveragers These are jobs that involve “combining the best of what computers can do with the best of what humans can do, and then constantly reintegrating the new best practices the humans are innovating back into the system to make the whole… that much more productive. ” 5. The Great Adapters
These are jobs that involve being “adaptable and versatile” and “are capable not only of constantly adapting but also of constantly learning and growing. ” 6. The Green People These are jobs that involve designing and building “renewable energies and environmentally sustainable systems. ” 7. The Passionate Personalizers These are jobs that involve “pure passion… pure entertainment… [and] a creative touch that no one else thought of adding. ” 8. The Great Localizers These are jobs that involve “[understanding] the emerging global infrastructure, and then [adapting] all the new tools it offers to local needs and demands. The Right Stuff These are the abilities that will help individuals compete effectively in the flat world. 1. Learn How to Learn This is the ability to “constantly absorb, and teach yourself, new ways of doing old things or new ways of doing new things. ” 2. Passion and Curiosity This is the ability to be passionate and curious “for a job, for success, for a subject area or even a hobby,” because “nobody works harder at learning than a curious kid. ” 3. Play Well With Others This is the ability to “be good at managing or interacting with other people. ” 4. The Right-Brain Stuff
This is the ability to “nurture more of your right brain [(creative thought)] as well as your left [(analytical thought)]. ” The Quiet Crisis These are the six “dirty little secrets” of the US that are preventing this country from properly preparing for the flat world. 1. The Numbers Gap “The generation of scientists and engineers who were motivated to go into science… are reaching their retirement years and are not being replaced in the numbers that they must be if an advanced economy like that of the United States is to remain at the head of the pack. ” 2. The Education Gap at the Top We simply are not educating, or even interesting, enough of our own young people in advanced math, science, and engineering. ” 3. The Ambition Gap “Not only is [outsourcing] cheaper and efficient, but the quality and productivity [boost] is huge” because of “our love of television and video and online games. ”
4. The Education Gap at the Bottom “If you went to an elite private school or public school in a wealthy neighborhood, you got an education that reinforced innovation and creativity, while the worst public high schools focused on just getting the kids through with the bread-and-butter basics. 5. The Funding Gap “Federal funding for research in physical and mathematical sciences and engineering, as a share of GDP, actually declined,” and “the effects are starting to show,” as other nations surpass the US in scientific research and innovations. 6. The Infrastructure Gap “In the first three years of the Bush Administration, the United States dropped from 4th to 13th place in the global rankings of broadband Internet usage [and] most U. S. homes can access only ‘basic’ broadband, among the slowest, most expensive, and least reliable in the developed world.
Even worse is the US’s standing in the mobile market. What the US Should Do These are the five actions the US should take to remain competitive in the flat world. 1. Leadership This is where “we need politicians who are able and willing to” “help educate and explain to people what world they are living in and what they need to do if they want to thrive in it. ” ‘Summoning all our [nation’s] strengths and skills to produce a twenty-first-century renewable energy source is George W. Bush’s opportunity to be both Nison going to China and JFK going to the moon in one move. ” 2. Muscles This is where the government and companies “can guarantee you that [they] will concentrate on giving you the tools to make yourself more lifetime employable—more able to acquire the knowledge or the experience needed to be a good adapter, synthesizer, collaborator, etc. ” 3. Cushioning This is the concept of wage insurance that “would compensate you for your old specific skills, for a set period of time, while you take a new job and learn new specific skills. 4. Social Activism This is where global corporations must develop moral consciences because they “are going to command more power, not only to create value but also to transmit values, than any transnational institutions on the planet. ” 5. Parenting This is where “we need a new generation of parents ready to administer tough love: There comes a time when you’ve got to put away the Game Boys, turn off the television, shut off the iPod, and get your kids down to work. ”