From today’s news:
 
“The Bush administration was pushing for concrete results to show to an increasingly restive Congress, where lawmakers blame America’s soaring trade deficits and the loss of one in six manufacturing jobs since 2000 in part on China’s trade practices in such areas as currency manipulation and copyright piracy.”
 
We can beat China in the industrial battle for our future. The Chinese are taking our jobs by hook (cheap labor) and by crook (they steal patents and copyrights).
 
If we, as American business people look at manufacturing in new ways with greater FOCUS we can win. If we foster creative input from our vast wealth of educated workers, we can beat them. If we think growth is more important than cost control, we can beat them. Don’t misquote me. Cost is important. Growth is MORE important.
 
A wise business associate (my dear friend Simon) once told me, “grow business like a tree: slow and strong.” Simon is from China.
 
We want everything today, now, this minute. We need to plant trees. We need to think long term. We need to learn patience and FOCUS. We need to set aside ego.
 
We need to rid business of the Devil’s Advocate. The method of picking apart every idea, looking for every crack, seeing every flaw is killing creative thought. STOP IT NOW. Just because an idea is flawed does not mean it does not have merit. Instead of looking for the cracks, look for the VALUE. Leonard Cohen wrote  “forget your perfect offering. There’s a crack in everything. It lets the light in.”
 
The best move your business can make is to start exterminating all traces of the Devil’s Advocate. Don’t tolerate it at any level. Don’t allow any more comments like “what if we try your idea and this happens”. Rather, “that idea has merit, let’s look at the positives and how we can strengthen them.”
 
No, I’m not saying you need adopt every idea presented. Evaluate the worth. Start thinking from the WORTH.
 
Wouldn’t you prefer to have hundreds of new ideas per month coming from the people who know your business over a handful of ideas from management? MANAGE!
 
Shameless Promotion: I can help rid you of the Devil’s Advocate. It takes time and it takes a plan. A change in corporate culture is required. But the first who do it will reap the greatest benefit.
 
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog