Thursday, November 4, 2010

Green Economy: Political Mandates or Free-Market Innovations

I think it's easy to dovetail from our last post – Overcoming Adversity – into this one. Adversity, which can come in a variety of forms and faces, although not easy, can be overcome by anyone, any organization willing to put forth the effort to persevere.
Monitoring the mood of many of my colleagues in the world of Sustainability, Green Building, and Environmentally Friendly products and solutions from a social media vantage point (product plug: TweetDeck is amazing - simplifies the whole social media process), it's abundantly clear that the election has deflated the hopes of many to see comprehensive climate legislation make it through Congress. Some view this as not only a hurdle for the global Environment but on a more personal level, they see the viability and future of their businesses facing a tougher road ahead.
However, I think quite the opposite. The GOP will stand against Cap and Trade and other government mandated climate regulations, but that doesn't have to stymie innovation and product implementation. Despite its best and sometimes misguided efforts, the Government has never led the way (in this and other Capitalist nations) in innovation; the free market has always risen to the challenge to meet the needs of society and the consumers who comprise it.
And this is my message to all businesses – traditional or “green”: if you're operating in a downward economy, a less favorable political climate, or with declining sales [etc.], use that adversity as an opportunity to either improve the value that your product or service provides the end-user, revamp your corporate image, retool your marketing strategy, etc.

The Statue of Liberty: Edward Moran
  1. Hyatt
  2. Burger King
  3. International House of Pancakes
  4. The Jim Henson Company
  5. LexisNexis
  6. FedEx
  7. Microsoft
  8. CNN
  9. MTV Networks
  10. Trader Joe's
  11. Wikipedia
  12. Sports Illustrated
  13. General Electric
  14. Hewlett Packard

Regardless the function of a product, if it can cost-effectively satisfy a need, and is clearly and intelligently marketed, then there is no need for Governmental interference and the free market will prevail.
On the other hand, if you find that you’ve have poured hours of R & D and marketing into a product without much Demand, don’t necessarily give up. A) use that experience to ensure that the same mistake[selling unwanted products] doesn’t happen again & b) table that project, for there may be a need for your product in the future.
In closing, I want to mention that regardless of political affiliation (hippies to tea-partiers), geographic location (Jacksonville to San Francisco) or generation (Sponge Bob to Jimmy Stewart), we are all embracing ways to help preserve our environment. Look how far we’ve progressed in the last decade – technology has brought us cars that produce water vapor as waste; the internet provides instant connectivity to all corners of the planet; and there are countless other innovations that would make this list exhaustive and boring to read. You get the picture, I hope. Imagine where we'll be 10 years from today. Here? McFly?
And although government has had a voice in the evolution of these technologies, it has been the brilliance of individuals and the freedom they are provided in a free-enterprise system to innovate and in turn receive value for that innovation.
Remember, as we used to quote William Johnson at camp growing up in North Georgia, “If it is to be, it is up to me”.

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