Gini Dietrich

A New and Prosperous Economy

By: Gini Dietrich | August 23, 2011 | 
139

“We’re not going to have a jobless recovery. We’re going to have a jobless future.” – Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?”

It’s been said the Industrial Revolution is now complete as technology begins to replace the jobs that were created for people to run the machines.

Some have said we’re entering an intellectual property revolution, which makes sense with the Google purchase of Motorola Mobility.

Or perhaps it’s more a service-focused era where the jobs no longer run things, but provide expertise.

Regardless, Jarvis is right: Our jobs aren’t coming back.

Take, for instance, the book industry. Amazon began to kill retail bookstores, first by giving us online book buying and then the Kindle, and Apple finished the job with the iPad. Those jobs will never come back. No matter what happens to the economy, jobs for retail book salespeople will not reappear.

And the newspaper industry? With sales declining, advertising nearly non-existent, and everyone moving their subscriptions online, the jobs of the printers, the distributors, and the carriers will never reappear.

What about the jobs that created 8-tracks, then cassette tapes, and then CDs? Gone.

Technology, social media, and the web, in general, are creating a new revolution for us, yet a good majority of leaders are still doing business the way it’s always been done. Is it hope that the economy will recover and the things that made us successful in the past will, once again, work?

Hope is not a strategy.

Is there too much change and instability, what with the Great Recession and then the debt ceiling debate and then the S&P downgrade and then a continuous slide of the stock market that makes us want to hold on to what we know and not change?

Not changing is not a strategy.

I spend a good amount of my time traveling the country, talking with business leaders about using the web for growth. Do you know how often I hear “My customer isn’t on the Internet”? Every time.

Do you know how often I hear, “I have to close business by looking in the eyeballs of my client”? Every time.

Do you know how often I hear, “My customer isn’t a 20 year old so they’re not using social media”? Every time.

These are the same people who are hoping things will rebound to where they were or that they’ll retire before technology really has to be implemented into their companies.

But guess what? It’s not going to rebound. The jobs aren’t going to reappear. The way you’ve always done things is not going to work.

It’s our jobs, as business leaders to create jobs from something that doesn’t, right now, exist, so we can form a new and  prosperous economy.

Otherwise Jarvis is right: We’ll have a jobless future.

This first ran as my weekly column in Crain’s, the Chicago business journal.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

  • Can I call you Cassandra?

  • BestRoofer

    I think that this is a great post Gini. Please put it up on the Vistage LinkedIn forum. We have great leaders there who need to start getting this. Demographics are coming into play as well. The baby boomers are going to be very heavy weight on society.

  • This is something I’ve been thinking about recently, and even wrote about a few weeks ago on my blog. And the fact is, we have no clue what the future hold. Somewhere down the line something will come along that kills Amazon, and does what they do, but better. And more efficiently.

    And while the jobs aren’t coming back, I see an interesting thing happening in our communities, particularly on the local level, and I’m evidence of this. More and more people who have lost their jobs, or left their jobs, are going into business for themselves. Sole proprietorships and LLCs. More independent, freelance business people. It’s becoming the norm.

    And I’m not sure if this is happening elsewhere, but here in Lancaster, where once the downtown became a ghosttown because of the malls and outlet centers, there is a revival. More small businesses and retailers and specialty shops are opening up and while we aren’t “there” yet, downtown Lancaster has an incredibly robust business, arts, and culture community. It’s as if the pendulum is swinging in communities that are touting things like “Buy Fresh, Buy Local”.

    there are cycles, we go from small to big, back to small, back to big. I think right now the pendulum is swinging toward small, and I think that’s a good thing.

  • John_Trader1

    Not embracing the economic paradigm shift into the digital age is definitely a short-sighted view that will prove to continue crippling many businesses Gini, you are absolutely right. Regarding job growth (in tech specifically), I read an interesting article in Forbes last week:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2011/08/17/why-amazon-cant-make-a-kindle-in-the-usa/

    that takes an interesting look at why Amazon can’t make a Kindle in the US and other observations including how focus on short term profits (among other variables) stifles innovation which is arguably the only true way that our economy can manufacture the job growth that we need to snap out of the pit we are sliding into. I recommend everyone take a look at these articles and the follow up ones as well.

    As the article points out, change is something that needs to materialize on different levels – business leaders, government, investors, accountants, politicans, etc. if we can really expect to turn ourselves around. Also liked the insightful Einstein quote of “The significant problems that we have cannot be solved at the same level of thinking with which we created them.”

  • BTRIPP

    I’m always amazed when I hear folks saying “My customer isn’t a 20 year old so they’re not …” – my late Mother was in her 80’s and spending 4-6 hours on line a day the better part of a decade ago. My guess is that the people with those attitudes are afraid of technology and dismissive of it (and its penetration through all demographics) so as not to have to interface with it.

  • SocialSavvyGeek

    Can I just say, “Exactly!”. I run into those same people, too. A few years back Nestle closed a factory in Syracuse, NY and offered computer training to it’s former employees so they would have a better chance of finding a new job. Something like 3 of 300 took them up on it; the rest just complained about their job going away and sat around collecting unemployment waiting for jobs that are NEVER coming back…

  • JohnLeavy

    I think this jobs subject is being looked at one-sidedly. Yes, the brick layers that put down our cobble stone streets are gone as are the wheelwrights. But jobs are not being lost they’re being transferred. Everyone that is unemployed today had better get a copy of Who Moved My Cheese and come back to reality. Yes, some manufacturing jobs are being lost…mostly replaced by technology jobs like the ones we have. Who would have thought someone could start their own company on a shoestring budget. Computers, phones, software could not be cheaper. I was around the technology industry when my company bought its first meg of memory at 1.2 million dollars. It was the size of two minivans. People need to start looking forward not backward. We live in the greatest country in the world with the most opportunity ever. Sorry for the Monday morning rant. have a great day.

  • @KenMueller “More and more people who have lost their jobs, or left their jobs, are going into business for themselves. Sole proprietorships and LLCs. More independent, freelance business people. It’s becoming the norm.”

    Exactly. That’s what sets America apart from the rest of the world. Much easier to do that here than, say, Europe. Much less red tape and much more room for growth.

  • There was a post on Simply Zesty about how the next phase of social media will be getting companies to buy-in on an organizational level.Social should be a marketing tool, but it could be so much more than that. I mean, it HAS to happen at some point. Like you said, technology won’t reverse itself. This stuff ain’t going away.

    It all comes down to corporate buy-in on an organizational, not departmental, level. At least that’s how I see it.

    Great post, Gini!

  • glenn_ferrell

    I always conjure up a picture of this customer who is not on the internet and doesn’t use social media. A dimly-lit (smoke-filled) room. A calendar (with a Rita Hayworth look-alike in a tool belt) hung on a nail on the wall. Gun-metal gray desks with scarred brown tops. Rotary dial phones. Stacks of Thomas Register volumes everywhere. People digging through folding suspense files and in-boxes to figure out what to do next. A secretarial typing pool, with IBM Selectrics, transcribing hand-written drafts (with a 3 day turnaround time).

  • Great thought-provoking post! You’re right. There can be resistance to adopting new ways/technologies for doing business, sometimes even within ‘new economy’ industries, like social media. I think it’s less the “newness” of the technology or idea and simply individuals being unable or unsure of how to adapt. In today’s case, the speed of disruption – loss of jobs – is outpacing our abilities to reinvent and reinvigorate our economy. I guess the big question for me is how do we address people’s underlying fear of change, so that businesses are willing to give something new a try so we can begin to rebuild.

  • Welcome to my world. What I’ve been saying on this topic (for about 4 years now!) is that this is a very unique situation – one that I am convinced will eventually be referred to in history books as a Depression, not a Recession. In this rare but not unique situation, recover is not an event but a process. We’re in the middle of a complete restructuring and no one can tell us just what the next economy will look like.

    We can make a few guesses, however, as to what it will look like and what we will have to shore up. One thing that is clear is that our balance of payment (ie, net exports) will not remain negative forever, meaning that we will likely see more manufacturing – but what type and what market remains unclear. We can also see that our net imports of energy are a terrible weakness that has to be corrected.

    There’s a lot more to it, and I’ll comment here when I have time. I’ve written extensively on the many sub-topics tied up in Restructuring so forgive me for links to longer essays – this is a complex subject, but it is very understandable if you put your mind to it.

  • JoyFull_deb

    @KenMueller Exactly, Ken. I don’t think BIG business is going to create the jobs we as a society need to move forward. I believe it’s up to the small business owner to create & sustain jobs moving forward. It’s not rocket science. We can’t wait on the Feds to provide opportunities for growth, or we’ll be waiting until my hair turns all gray….which could be awhile. 🙂 Folks w/o jobs need to up their skill sets & think “out the box.” Of course, easy for me to say….harder when you have no job & don’t know which road to take.

    Love the post “Chicago’s TOP Chef.

  • JoyFull_deb

    @BestRoofer I’m one of those baby boomers….y’all better take care of me. 🙂

  • JoyFull_deb

    @BestRoofer I’m one of those baby boomers….y’all better take care of me. 🙂

  • JoyFull_deb

    @BestRoofer I’m one of those baby boomers….y’all better take care of me. 🙂

  • Very true. And isn’t it amazing that things we think are obvious really aren’t to most people? What I worry is that there will be one lone area where jobs will appear and people will mistake that for job growth – an area like robotics or genetics. It’s time for US to change, not just as individuals but as a society. People lived and thrived before the industrial revolution, and now we can do it without being in want for the basics for survival. There’s just so much fear out there about things changing. But things will change whether we like it or not. We could choose to be afraid of what happens to us if we don’t change with the times.

  • @JohnLeavy I think you’re right up to a point, lots of jobs are being shifted. But what is different than before is that 1- some of those jobs are being shifted to robots or computers, not other people and 2- some of the new jobs being created are above the ability of the people who used to do the old version. Good book suggestion.

  • YES! My grandmother’s cell phone was fancier than mine when I visited her – in AFRICA. She’s 86. Big mistake to think the boomers and Westerners aren’t on the web when 2nd and 3rd world countries are already in the process of catching up. @BTRIPP

  • @KenMueller Definitely. I hope that becomes the new normal – that would be a true boost.

  • @JoyFull_deb@KenMueller The leadership will have to come from the bottom up in a Restructuring, which is why loose capital is so important. However, a credit bubble is what made this Depression in the first place, so it’s hard to know how to get started, at least before we flush out all the bad loans. Plus, investors are so scared and see nothing but risk right now, so the Fed is sitting on 1.5T$ in deposits that aren’t being loaned out to do anyone any good.

    So there are some policy directives from the top that can help the free market do what it has to, but the usual levers are not working as they should, causing paralysis and frustration. But I think everyone knows that the Restructuring has to come from the bottom – it’s a matter of getting the resources there that is the hard part. And the system we have is all about big playahs not just in the “Too big to fail” sense – it’s way beyond that and into “Too big to understand”. A very different problem.

  • Good stuff Gini. I occasionally get “20 year-old” argument myself… which is why this story today from eMarketer.com peaked my interest.

    http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008554

    –Tony Gnau

  • @wabbitoid@JoyFull_deb Hopefully the government will get on board and treat us the way they treat the big corporations!

  • Corianda

    Makes me thankful I’m a 20-something-year-old that grew up with it, but I also like to think I’m a 20-something that pays attention to these elders who understand business, personal relationships, and good-old elbow grease. That’s the disconnect: “older” people with lessons to teach, and young people who understand the new, but not the old.

  • Corianda

    Makes me thankful I’m a 20-something-year-old that grew up with it, but I also like to think I’m a 20-something that pays attention to these elders who understand business, personal relationships, and good-old elbow grease. That’s the disconnect: “older” people with lessons to teach, and young people who understand the new, but not the old.

  • saracorinne

    Great post! I completely agree that we can’t worry about jobs lost and must focus on creating new. I remember being told as a child that my future jobs were probably not even created yet and they were right. I grew up never really knowing what I’d end up doing but hopeful and confident that my skills would be useful. Even with my English Lit degree, I keep finding opportunities beyond teaching which many considered would be my fate. I truly feel like the only limit to my career possibilites are me not being willing to push outside my comfort zone.

  • Gini, this is an awesome post, and I couldn’t help but think of the most amazing presentation by Sir Ken Robinson at TED, where he said:

    “We have no idea what’s going to happen” in terms of the future, and how we’re “educating” people for jobs that won’t exist. I just had to refer to the link here: it’s one of the finest 20 minutes you could spend, and so supports the idea that we could, if we don’t change, have a “jobless future”.

    http://youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY

    Cheers! Kaarina

  • Thanks for the reality check, Gini. just the facts, Mam.

    You know, when I first starting reading, i was like, hey, wait a minute here, whats with all the gloom and doom, Ms. Cycle Babe ? But, as usual, when i continued reading, it started making a whole lot of sense.

    The honest and somewhat brutal truth is this; It is either, change and adapt or cease to exist. a jobless future ? Wow. Thanks again Gini.

  • Change is mightily feared. If only these businesses doing the ostrich could lift up their heads and see that it’s less about change and more about forward motion…progress…growth…all good stuff! I’m sure you feel like your pushing a noodle, but keep it up Gini. They need you more than they know!

  • The big problem among our nation’s leadership – business, political, and so on – has been denial. There was evidence of a serious problem as far back as 2002, and the warning bells were very loud in 2007, yet we are only now fully engaged in the problem at hand. What is important about Gini’s piece is that we are all talking about this and insisting on action. Remember Y2K? Nothing happened – because we were all aware of it and on top of it. The same sense of urgency, and then some, is the first step past the denial that has plagued us.

    Once we are past the denial there is no reason to panic. This is at least the 5th Depression in US history, and we’ve learned a lot over the many years. I call this a “Managed Depression” because our leaders have tried their best to do what they knew needed to be done.

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/05/09/the-managed-depression/

    Why didn’t it work? Because for all the levers being pushed, pulled, and turned this is not an event like those we have seen since the last Depression, 1929. It takes a full Restructuring to get us out of it. I have a short list of relatively cheap and simple ideas that can get that process started:

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/moving-the-economy-forward/

    The most important problem right now, however, is psychology. As we move past denial and towards acceptance, grieving the death of the old economy, we first have to pass through depression (small “d”). That, and fear, are driving people right now as a poll of my readership showed clearly:

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/after-the-storm/

    While I’d like to tell you that “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” I can’t in good conscience. There is one more really big bump out there, the thing that will liberate our economy from the constraints that have killed so many middle class jobs – and also end the material good fortune we have greedily enjoyed for 2 generations. It is the coming end of the US Dollar standard around the world:

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/death-of-the-mighty-dollar/

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/fear-the-dragon/

    As we work through all of this the problems that should have been obvious for at least 4 years will rattle markets and continue making us very afraid. I think it is best to ignore that noise and concentrate on the opportunities ahead of you:

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/08/19/stock-pigeons/

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/category/money/on-the-margin/?orderby=ID&order=ASC

    (an old series but still valid)

    I’ve written much more on this topic, but this is far more than enough for now. What matters is this: we have to make the opportunities we can and STAY CONNECTED to our world so that we can insist on appropriate leadership and action as we all make the new economy that will arise from Restructuring. There is a temptation to withdraw and look out for #1, but we are stronger together. This will take leadership as well as our own efforts, and until we insist on appropriate leadership nothing will happen.

  • Turn down the speakers – NSFW language wise.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTifdoKXoxM

  • ginidietrich

    @faybiz Don’t you already have a nickname for me?

  • ginidietrich

    @faybiz Don’t you already have a nickname for me?

  • ginidietrich

    @BestRoofer Yes, sir. I’ll do it right now!

  • ginidietrich

    @BestRoofer Yes, sir. I’ll do it right now!

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller I agree with you. I think this is a very good thing.

  • @ginidietrich wow, you REALLY want to go there huh?

    OK, we’ll see how your predictions pan out- until then- Gertie it is

  • ginidietrich

    @JoyFull_deb Big love to you!

  • ginidietrich

    @faybiz LOL!!

  • rustyspeidel

    @wabbitoid

    This all started in 1985 when it became more compelling to break up and sell off our manufacturing capability than it did to maintain our companies here. I was just reading a post that basically said unless we want to become an elitest state where a small group of “haves” manages a huge population of poor service workers, we need to reinvent ourselves to restore the middle class core where much of our economic and social stability was held. That middle class spent the money that filled the coffers that paid the taxes that kept things rolling. When they left, so did a HUGE tax base. Hard to believe our leaders let that happen.

    I agree with you that denial, protection of the status quo for the few at the expense of the many, and self-interested leadership have allowed this to spin out of control. It’s almost like this political generation needs to retire before the policies will change much–not that it’s helped much in the past. 😉 Like Mimi says below…there is a lot od positive to this, if we’d embrace it. But those “haves” want to keep having.

  • ginidietrich

    @BTRIPP I just heard some of that when I spoke today. It’s scary. And it’s hard when technology doesn’t come easily to you. One guy told me he finds too many hurdles when he uses technology. So he just doesn’t use it.

  • ginidietrich

    @SocialSavvyGeek OMG! Only three took advantage?!?!

  • ginidietrich

    @JohnLeavy You do know it’s Tuesday?

  • ginidietrich

    @JohnLeavy You do know it’s Tuesday?

  • ginidietrich

    @fitzternet I believe that, too. Whenever someone asks me where social belongs, “I say everywhere!” I don’t think just the marketing or PR department will use it. I think we’ll all use it in all of our lives. It’s already becoming apparent to those of us who work in the industry.

  • ginidietrich

    @glenn_ferrell I LOVE this image! Bravo!

  • rustyspeidel

    @JohnLeavy Agree, but our educational and political system also needs to shift to accomodate these realities.

  • ginidietrich

    @Collectual I agree with you about the underlying fear of change. I also think it’s being overwhelmed, not being able to keep up, and fear of having to give up control. Control…that we never had anyway.

  • ginidietrich

    @Collectual I agree with you about the underlying fear of change. I also think it’s being overwhelmed, not being able to keep up, and fear of having to give up control. Control…that we never had anyway.

  • rustyspeidel

    @KenMueller one thing we know is coming–change. this time, i think it caught a lot of folks unprepared.

  • ginidietrich

    @Tinu First, thanks for holding down the fort for me here this morning while I spoke!

    As I was driving to the airport just now I saw on the FOX building a ticker that said July (last month) was the worst month in 50 years. In 50 years. And we’re supposedly not in another recession? Unemployment continues to be high and people are afraid to part with their money. The thing that drives change is fear and the NEED to try something new.

  • ginidietrich

    @T60Productions Thanks for the stats. I wish I’d had that this morning!

  • ginidietrich

    @T60Productions Thanks for the stats. I wish I’d had that this morning!

  • ginidietrich

    @T60Productions Thanks for the stats. I wish I’d had that this morning!

  • ginidietrich

    @Corianda It’s always been that way…it’s just amplified now because technology changes so quickly.

  • ginidietrich

    @Corianda It’s always been that way…it’s just amplified now because technology changes so quickly.

  • ginidietrich

    @Corianda It’s always been that way…it’s just amplified now because technology changes so quickly.

  • ginidietrich

    @saracorinne So funny! I also have an English lit degree and the opportunities for us are GIGANTIC! My parents thought the only way I’d make any money was to write best selling fiction. Turns out I’m pretty much creating the dream job for myself through my business. You’re right – our only limit is pushing ourselves.

  • ginidietrich

    @KDillabough Thank you! This might go in Gin and Topics!

  • @rustyspeidel I think there is considerable evidence that the inflection point was indeed int he 1980s. I wrote this piece, more overtly pro-Democrat than usual, back in January:

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/01/14/i-still-like-mike/

    I can’t say where the new leadership will come from to get past this, but a new generation is probably necessary. I know there are a few elders who can help us and I’d hate to take this out of the historical context that still has a lot to teach us, but the balance of leadership is likely to be new.

    Gini is helping a lot by doing her part here. As a free market economy there is only so much that political leadership can do, and it will take business leaders speaking out and doing their part. The sooner they and the general public become engaged the sooner we can make it happen.

  • ginidietrich

    @Al Smith LOL!! Well now you know me well enough to know it’s never doom and gloom with me. But I’ll also be pretty direct. And you’re right – let’s get excited about the possibilities for creating a new future. We have gigantic opportunity right now!

  • ginidietrich

    @Al Smith LOL!! Well now you know me well enough to know it’s never doom and gloom with me. But I’ll also be pretty direct. And you’re right – let’s get excited about the possibilities for creating a new future. We have gigantic opportunity right now!

  • ginidietrich

    @MimiMeredith It feels harder than pushing a noodle!

  • ginidietrich

    @MimiMeredith It feels harder than pushing a noodle!

  • ginidietrich

    @Sean McGinnis I’m scared.

  • @ginidietrich@MimiMeredith Little known fact: 7 people die each year trying to push noodles

  • ginidietrich

    @wabbitoid@rustyspeidel I have nothing more to add to what the two of you are saying except…don’t stop!

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller@MimiMeredith LOL!!

  • @ginidietrich …a cooked noodle…uphill…

  • JoyFull_deb

    @KenMueller@wabbitoid Exactly….everyone should know that BIG business rules the world, right??? And, the “credit bubble” crisis…well, let’s just say that China owns A LOT of those bad mortgages, and the paper that keeps us afloat. What a trip it would be if we were to default….China would be some happy campers, perhaps?! “Too big to understand” is what this is about.

    Somehow, I just don’t see the Feds treating us like the big “playahs”…which is what started all of this eons ago.

  • @ginidietrich@rustyspeidel Just be careful what you ask for – you know how verbose I am. 🙂

    I did recently write about leadership and the fear that has been sinking in.

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2011/08/05/fear-itself/

    Also, for those who don’t know me, I might want to introduce Barataria – the old fashioned li’l blog that can:

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2010/09/13/whats-it-about/

  • @ginidietrich I think that would be great Gini!

  • @ginidietrich Sometimes I think in movie quotes…. when I think at all that is.

  • @ginidietrich Sometimes I think in movie quotes…. when I think at all that is.

  • I call this a depression. I know too many people who are losing their homes, out of work and desperately trying to find something new. The problems we face aren’t new and they aren’t getting much better at all.

    That being said I am confident that we will find our way provided that we don’t succumb to a culture of fear. There are an awful lot of smart people- we just need to keep our eyes open and help each other through the rough spots.

  • PossiblY the best spinsucks post EVER. This says it all Gini and it’s something I hear every day. Yesterday I wrote about a business who are starting a Facebook page with no wall, no comment and no photos. The page is their one concession to social media!!! And they think they are really being social. It is this kind of attitude to the net – that it’s not real marketing, not the real world- that will drive them out of business. It’s not their failure to use facebook socially. It’s their old world arrogance and ludite thinking.

  • Scottfry

    @ginidietrich Thanks for some good practical methods. Was hoping there’d be some!

  • Two things come to mind, first: the recollection of big companies like GM sticking their head in the sand hoping that competitive new technologies will just fade away and they can maintain their pole position in the industry – we’ve seen how well that worked.

    The other is an idea I’ve been marinating on for a while now: The Rise of The Guild. Back in the middle ages/renaissance there weren’t unions, but there were guilds. These independent, mom & pop type artisans would band together, teach each other, learn together, and grow their industry through mutual innovation – sounds kind of communistic in today’s world, but I see it happening.

    I see groups of entrepreneurs pooling resources, asking questions, getting help, and taking action to innovate and try new things on in an effort to match the square peg to the square hole so to speak.

    I see many more solopreneurs making a way when it was very difficult to do so before. Big industries are being “taken down” by little guy innovators.

    We really need to be paying attention to this.

  • @ginidietrich Yes we do ! We can only control what we can. No need to live in the wreckage of the future. Make better Choices and Change some things…….. Now ! Our future is what we make it.

    This scene from Animal House just popped in my head. Classic John Belushi.

    “Dammit, we decide when it’s over. Over ? Did somebody say over ? Was it over when the Germans bombed pearl harbor ? Hell No ! And it aint over now !”

    I got fired up. Sorry.

    Al

  • ginidietrich

    @Sean McGinnis I know it’s hard for you. That big head is just full of hot air.

  • ginidietrich

    @Sean McGinnis I know it’s hard for you. That big head is just full of hot air.

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB I think it’s a Depression, too. I think there are two reasons they’re not calling it one: They don’t want to instill fear in all of us and it feels different than 1929.

  • ginidietrich

    @TheJackB I think it’s a Depression, too. I think there are two reasons they’re not calling it one: They don’t want to instill fear in all of us and it feels different than 1929.

  • ginidietrich

    @jonbuscall Thanks Jon! Unfortunately you’re right. I spoke this morning and the first thing out of one of the attendee’s mouth was, “My target isn’t for 20 year olds. This isn’t for me.” I hope I proved him wrong, but he’s not the only one who feels that way.

  • ginidietrich

    @jonbuscall Thanks Jon! Unfortunately you’re right. I spoke this morning and the first thing out of one of the attendee’s mouth was, “My target isn’t for 20 year olds. This isn’t for me.” I hope I proved him wrong, but he’s not the only one who feels that way.

  • ginidietrich

    @jonbuscall Thanks Jon! Unfortunately you’re right. I spoke this morning and the first thing out of one of the attendee’s mouth was, “My target isn’t for 20 year olds. This isn’t for me.” I hope I proved him wrong, but he’s not the only one who feels that way.

  • ginidietrich

    @lisarobbinyoung I don’t think that sounds like communism at all. It sounds smart. We do this with some fellow agencies – I spend a lot of time with other agency leaders. We share resources, we brainstorm ideas, and (in some cases) we pitch business together.

  • @ginidietrich@jonbuscall And your post was great as well, Jon. I hear this argument all the time. And the small business folks I talk to still insist on all the old methods without demanding any proof that it works. They never check to see if their Yellow Pages ad is working, or their newspaper ad, but doggone it, that’s all they’ve ever done! And leave the Internet to those young kids! I commented on another post yesterday, either yours, Jon, or Shonali’s, I think, that the real problem is that the last demographic to understand the Internet, and SM, are older males. And they are the ones in charge of small and large businesses. They aren’t on Facebook, so no one is!

    Dangit, I don’t need The Twitter. That’s for kids!

  • We can do it, but hope is not a strategy and we definitely need forward thinking solutions because what we knew as the good ol’ days aren’t coming back as we knew them. However, there is still plenty of opportunity and we’ll get it figured out.

    The current thinking and agendas in DC will have to be changed and we might have to do it at the ballot box. Maybe we can get some Chicago style voting in………..early and often; but change of thinking needs to occur.

    This was good ma’am.

  • @ginidietrich Usually it off-gasses when I laugh loudly – which is why it happens so often. Ask @lisagerber LOL!

  • corinadexel

    Very interesting picture of this momentum! No fun in short terms.

    From the bigger picture of the worldwide techdrive especially in the emerging world its pretty clear that the digital revolution incl. web and social media…. can help us and our economies.

    But there will be lots of rethinking, reinventing and reshaping.

    From governments to businesses and individuals.

    And that kind of change takes time, guts and entrepeneural spirit.

    Let start with ourselves: rethinking, reinventing and reshaping.

  • MSchechter

    We see far too much of this in the world of fine jewelry. People keep waiting for the 80’s and early 90’s to come back. They want the same big ticket sales on dated jewelry. I keep telling my industry to take a day and go to the opera or the theater, just look at what people are wearing. There isn’t a venue to wear the jewelry of the past and there aren’t going to be anymore going forward. Time to change. But sadly, change is never easy and often happens too late.

  • joelfortner03

    Gini, you nailed it. Those who fail to evolve to market demands will fail. There are many examples out there of people who have chosen not to participate in this recession. They’re not playing the blame game. They’re focused on making stuff happen. They’re not looking for excuses. They’re chasing after their cheese. In short, they’re fighting and thinking their way to success.

  • unklbuck

    @JohnLeavy We live in a society driven by the movement of data. We need more data plumbers.

    Listen to what Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder has to say about the number of IT jobs being posted on his site: http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=1560512666.

    I had lunch last week with a gentleman whose wife is a internal recruiter at a very large consulting company. He reported they have over 200 open roles to fill in a particular technology niche and only two resources available in a company of 225,000 employees.

    Good, experienced developers with salesforce.com skills are very hard to find right now. salesforce is point and click development! How hard/expensive can it be to train people for that?

  • kamkansas

    So true! RT @jmctigue via @ginidietrich: Hope and not changing are not strategies. Innovation and grabbing change are http://t.co/uFMrAL9

  • jennimacdonald

    @JKCevents Thanks for the RT love, we’re already in-the-know w tech so our jobs are safe : )

  • TheAntiMedia

    @wagnerwrites Does that mean I should stop being funny?

  • wagnerwrites

    @TheAntiMedia That remark was 4 biz leaders. You & I get to be our lazy, funny selves & not create jobs. ‘Cept 4 your t-shirt makers.

  • ginidietrich

    @bdorman264 Hello invisible. To your point, I actually think the voting is going to clear Washington and start with a clean slate. We shall see.

  • ginidietrich

    @unklbuck I don’t know…I think it takes a certain skill. Especially if you’re middle class, accustomed to working a line or inside a union. Those skills aren’t easily transferable to technology and a computer.

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter Well, unless you’re selling VINTAGE.

  • ginidietrich

    @corinadexel I like the three Rs: Rethinking, reinventing, and reshaping.

  • MSchechter

    @ginidietrich You know that vintage means old, not dated, right 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @joelfortner03 One of the things I repeat to my team over and over again is, “We can blame the economy or we can go out there and take charge. Which would you rather do?”

  • ginidietrich

    @MSchechter I was responding to “wear jewelry of the past.” 🙂

  • @ginidietrich@bdorman264 as much as i would LOVE to see that happen, I can’t see it ever happening. the system is so skewed toward the status quo and the incumbent. and…even when an incumbent loses, the “new blood” that wins is usually of a typical political bent.

  • ginidietrich

    @KenMueller@bdorman264 I don’t know. Mr. D is in politics. I’ve never seen EVERYONE unhappy with EVERYTHING.

  • @ginidietrich@bdorman264 i feel like we have. and no one does anything. when the people running both as incumbents and challengers are stereotypes and parody’s of themselves, the only ones who win are the late night comedians and SNL.

  • @wabbitoid @ginidietrich @rustyspeidel @wabbitoid @ginidietrich @rustyspeidel I have to agree; this excellent discussion here (following an excellent post) and I’m looking forward to reading all these links, Erik. Thanks you guys!

  • @rustyspeidel@ginidietrich@wabbitoid@JoyFull_deb@Tinu Interesting. My friend denigauthier , a Canadian musician, posted this blog post today about his industry, that echoes my feelings not just about music, but about business in general. http://www.denigauthier.com/blog/Entries/2011/8/22_I_Am_Musician.html

  • denigauthier

    @kmueller62 hey thanks man! I read that whole comment thread… very interesting.

  • kmueller62

    @denigauthier yeah. @ginidietrich is great (but don’t tell her i said that). I just think your post mirrored my thinking in many ways

  • Damn, Gini, way to tell it how it is. I’m trying to think of the best comment to leave you in appreciation for this post, but I’ll try anyway…

    First off, this blog post is exactly what I needed to read today. It’s interesting, every single one of my jobs that I’ve help during and post college were with companies and in positions that didn’t exist before I held them. And as I’m on the cusp of building my own company that doesn’t exist yet (this stage is called stealth, right?), I know that I’ll give the same opportunity too. And you know what, it’s kind of fun to know that I couldn’t have predicted my career moves a few years ago 🙂

    Needless to say, thank you for writing this and telling it like it is — this is a post that I need to print and post on my wall. You’re right — stop bitching about being a victim or collateral damage of the great late-2000s depression and be your own solution.

  • MarcMaWords

    @ginidietrich So true! It’s like a child growing out of their old clothing & expecting, and hoping that it will still fit

  • joelfortner03

    @ginidietrich Something is always gonna pose as on obstacle. You’re leading them well.

  • @KenMueller@ginidietrich The problem is, who in their right mind would want to take on the task and subject themselves to microscope type scrutiny? The true leaders don’t want any part of it because they know they won’t be able to accomplish anything. That only leaves the nut jobs and ego maniacs. Heaven help us………….

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  • YES YES YES!!! I said this to Mikal Belicove about his Daily Dose article about Facebook Techniques: I’d like to print this up and shove a copy down the throats of my clients.

    Bravo Gini. The sooner we realize all of the above, the sooner we can get on with rebuilding our economy.

  • ginidietrich

    @MarcMaWords Or when you gain weight and expect your clothes to still fit.

  • JamesBSchultz

    @KenMueller

    If you are speaking to Lancaster or Central PA SBO, I can relate. My Vistage group has 16 business owners…all in the boomer generation. Only one dabbles in social media. My Vistage group universally ignores any social media speakers. @GiniDietrich, what was your experience with Vistage? Are older white males (like me) just dumb?

    Ken, we should have lunch one day.

  • @JamesBSchultz I would love to sit and chat sometime. And you can read more about my experiences here in Lancaster at my guest post I wrote today for @Marijean http://www.marijeanjaggers.com/2011/08/24/personal-chamber-commerce/

  • JKCevents

    @jennimacdonald You’re in the know…I don’t know about me.

  • JamesBSchultz

    @KenMueller@Marijean Sad about the Chamber! I’ll contact you and join your personal chamber!

  • @JamesBSchultz@Marijean works for me!

  • rustyspeidel

    @ginidietrich@TheJackB Yes, I remember 1929, it was rough. I agree it’s a depression, because there is such a widespread dismantling of typical revenue modes. Whole industries just done. It’s gonna take awhile to jumpstart new methods of value generation, and I worry that some of it just might take time as boomers move on through the workforce. If they can’t embrace the changes, what can you do?

  • rustyspeidel

    @ginidietrich@wabbitoid Part of the challenge is getting leaders to put the country’s interests ahead of their own…bipartisan agreements, limits to individual, elected and corporate power, a sense of national pride that is not rotted in extremism, etc. I know those sound all socialist, but they don’t need to be…politicians currently prey on fear because it galvanizes voters.

    Hope is what we need–hope and creativity from the top down in terms of incentives, tax management, regulation (or lack of it) and infrastructure that will make it easier for companies to start up and succeed.

    Also, the lesson I’ve lived by–own your shit. What are YOU doing to make it better–or worse????

  • @rustyspeidel@ginidietrich Rusty, when it comes to politics (a topic I have too much experience in) I think of two things all the time.

    The first is that politics is not about money or power or influence, but improving people’s lives. Sen Paul Wellstone used to say that all the time, and it’s actually a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt. If you are more to my right and want to say that “Sometimes improving people’s lives means getting out of their way” I can accept that and we can have a grand ol’ time debating just how we can move forward. But I take that statement as a simple truism. Politics, either the art and science of human interaction (ie, office politics or domestic politics) or as the operating system of a Democratic Republic MUST be about improving people’s lives.

    The other thing is a line I stole from Stan Rogers – all poltiical discussion should have something for heart and arm and brain. You need the passion, the intellect, and a clear course of action to make it into something that works. In this case, we’re at square one and I would like everyone to speak honestly about their own economic situation along with their hopes and fears. Many fear losing status by being honest, but we are all feeling it. There is much more to gain working together for solutions than there is silently defending the old, dead regime that isn’t working anymore.

    The Emperor has no clothes – and, for that matter, I can see why the Empress had a thang goin’ on the side. Let’s start with honesty and commitment to making things work for people again and see where it goes.

  • ginidietrich

    @lamiki I really believe in creating your own destiny and not relying on someone else to do it for you. The idea that we can all be entrepreneurs, even inside companies, is very appealing to me. It’s how people like you and me can create jobs from something that doesn’t yet exist.

  • ginidietrich

    @AmyMccTobin I think I’ll print it and shove it down the throats of some of the business leaders I run in to, as well.

  • @ginidietrich@TheJackB This Depression is different than 1929, but it’s very similar to 1893 in many ways.

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/hysterical-depression/

  • @ginidietrich@TheJackB This Depression is different than 1929, but it’s very similar to 1893 in many ways.

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/hysterical-depression/

  • @ginidietrich@TheJackB This Depression is different than 1929, but it’s very similar to 1893 in many ways.

    http://erikhare.wordpress.com/2009/03/18/hysterical-depression/

  • @Lisa Gerber Thank you very much – I’ve been studying this for years. It takes a little fortitude and a willingness to ask dumb questions over and over to make it. 🙂

  • @ginidietrich@lamiki This may seem like a quibble, but it isn’t to me. I know many people who are not built to be entrepreneurs, and that generally includes myself. A craftsman is a person who is not interested in selling things, preferring instead to focus on what they do best and doing it well. Craftsmen can include chefs, mechanics, programmers, or any other field that includes some level of art.

    Not everyone wants to promote themselves. Not everyone can. It would be a very shallow world that didn’t have room for people who would rather be craftsmen, IMHO.

  • Very true Gini! I think though the practice of medicine for the initial visit will likely need to be face to face. You need to examine and touch to come to a diagnosis. Follow ups and those visits which are “talk” visits, I can see being virtual. There are plenty of company’s on the web offering these.

    Sadly, I will grieve the demise of books and newspapers as i like the physical aspect of holding a book, turning the pages of a newspaper while drinking a latte or a good cup of coffee…

    cheers,Rajka

  • MarcMaWords

    @ginidietrich Exactly

  • lannygoodman

    well said, gini. when things go non-linear, we have to question all our assumptions. for example, is the concept of “job” still relevant? how else might people pool their resources and talents and create organizations the serve all their interests? my pet peeve is that we continue to design and build companies based on a hundred year old model that was based on four hundred year old science. there aren’t many hundred year old technologies in use, functional or relevant today. there are a few (light bulbs, furniture and paper come to mind), but damn few.

    the real tragedy of this economic meltdown is that the people who have dutifully punched the clock have never had their full potential developed by their organizations. aside from the skills required for their immediate jobs, employees are astonishingly ignorant of anything outside their cubicle or workstation. the tragedy we are seeing is the legacy and symptom of a system of leadership , management and organization design based on “check your brain at the door and do just what you’re told.” is it any wonder when the job is gone they are lost and clueless about what to do?

    the good news is that it is only when things are falling apart that real change (for good or bad) can happen quickly. your article and this forum is just one example of the revolution of which we find ourselves in the middle. we don’t need to worry about washington. they’re clueless. we are the leaders if we decide to be and only we can reinvent business and how the world works. we get the leaders we deserve. the reality is that they follow us.

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  • KyleAkerman

    Lisa Barone from Outspoken Media nailed it in one of her old blog posts: It’s Not the Recession, You Just Suck.

    http://outspokenmedia.com/online-marketing/you-just-suck/

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