It is axiomatic that the “breakthroughs” of one generation often become the “depressor variables” of the next generation. In other words, the generative thinking that got us “outside the box” then serves to put us “inside the box” now.
This is the case with our thinking based on the “Binary Function” of the adherents of Information Technology or IT. What was an asset for America’s leadership in generating the “Tsunami of Socioeconomic Growth” over the last half of the 20th century has become the deficit of America’s generative leadership in the marketplace.
What makes the “Binary Function” problematic is not its contributions to the marketplace. The “branching systems” it has discriminated have produced an incredible array of products and services, culminating in a multi-trillion dollar global IT business phenomenon.
What makes the “Binary Function” a “depressor variable” is its impact on American leadership in the global marketplace. Our retreat to lower-order, “pedestrian processing” has made discriminative learning available to everyone and transformed America’s generative leadership into “also-ran, back-in-the-pack” positioning in the 21st century marketplace.
For thinking people, this means retreat to Innovative Commercializer positioning. Unfortunately, the historical “GIC Relationships,” Generator, Innovator, Commercializer relationships, no longer exist. This is due in large part to the American business reaction to the Japanese “blind-siding” of the 1980s and the Chinese “blind imitation” in the 2000s. In order to defeat imitating, American businesses retreated from generating to innovating. There are no longer any R & D centers of any consequence: there is little scientific search, let alone any research, to explicate the unknown; only developmental trials and focus groups to prepare “pilots” for commercialization.
Moreover, by abdicating systematic “GIC” leadership, the U.S.A. has slowed world Generativity down to a random trickle. Not only has the U.S. suffered from short-term stasis, but the nations of the world will now suffer from long-term paralysis as the wheels of Generativity grind to a halt. Concurrently, both leader and followers are surrendering to Multinational Corporations that sponsor no Generativity and have no alignment with American Civilization other than capitalistic profitability.
Indeed, the Multinational Corporations have dropped the “R” in “R&D.” For them, Generativity is a huge expense that places burdens upon dividends to stockholders. They assume no social responsibility and are dedicated only to development which translates directly into capitalistic profitability.
In this context, the Multinational Corporations are “dead-set enemies” of the Entrepreneurial-Driven Capitalism of the Watson era. To be sure, they have adopted the philosophy of Microsoft, Inc. and its leaders: “The only thing that we are afraid of is two guys in a garage.” (Think, Wright Brothers!) Accordingly, they have huge staffs of scientists and engineers scouring the garages of the world to discover the Generators who might create new markets and the Innovators who might create new “playing fields” for the applications and transfers of technologies.
All Asian countries aspire to the Innovative Commercializer Positioning in the marketplace (see Figure 2). In this positioning, Innovative Initiatives are “nested” in the Commercializer Phase. This is the positioning which Multinational Corporations find most profitable and, therefore, most attractive: it emphasizes legacy contributions modified or customized by innovative technological initiatives.
Figure 2. The Innovative Commercializer Positioning in the Global Market
This is “The Microsoft Model:” to appear “slightly innovative” while becoming maximally profitable. The long-term problem is that this apparently “risk-free” course is very vulnerable to both Generators and Innovators as when the U.S. retaliated against Japan, Inc. for “dumping” in the 1990s by pitting “True Innovation versus False Imitation.”
Most important, America has abandoned the source of its dominance throughout the 20th century: “Free Enterprise through Generative Innovation!” Historically, we have dominated by generating R & D “breakthroughs” and discovering new markets and servicing them.
It is uncomfortable for a nation of builders to work for Multinationals that chant “Second to the market and proud of it.”
We are a people who are committed to the front of the market curve: “First to the market and free!”
In transition, American Free Enterprise has dropped from its pre-potent leadership of Generative Innovation to a “Slightly Innovative Commercializer Positioning” which places her “back-in-the-pack” with all of the other “Wannabe Commercializers.” The U.S. has done this in large part due to her deference to the Multinational Corporations which satisfy stockholder demands on profitability and fail on creative leadership values.