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Mike Sekora: Towards a technology based strategy


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The following article was written by Mike Sekora.  Mr. Sekora headed the Socrates Project in the 1980′s which developed a way to automate innovation and use technology based strategies for the U.S. to compete.  His basic point is that the U.S. can leap frog other countries by using a technology based strategy rather than an exclusively economic based strategy.

This is a long piece, but good for weekend blog reading.

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The Five Mental Shifts Required to Rebuild America’s Economic Competitiveness

– As Determined by the US Intelligence Community’s Socrates Project –

July 9, 2010

Mike Sekora

Executive Summary:  To ensure the economic health of the US and its people, US decision-makers in government, industry, and academia must address America’s rapidly declining competitiveness, the source of the present economic crisis.  To effectively address the decline, the decision-makers must make major shifts in their thinking:  They must question what is true economic competitiveness and what are the means required to generate it.  They must see that issues like trade policy, IP laws, and infrastructure upgrades must be addressed with those means in mind.  They must acknowledge that the world is on the verge of the next revolutionary step in generating competitiveness and that to remain a super-power the US must lead this next revolutionary step.  And they need to understand that leading the next revolutionary step does not violate the principles of democracy on which the US was founded.

Introduction:
Although the recently passed economic stimulus legislation will help mitigate the adverse impacts of the economic crisis in the short-term, it does not have the ability to effectively address the underlying source of the US economic crisis–America’s declining ability to compete in both domestic and foreign markets.

Background:
Under the Reagan the administration within the US intelligence community, a classified program, the Socrates Project, was initiated to address America’s declining competitiveness.  Socrates had a two-fold mission.  The first was to determine the true source of America’s declining competitiveness, and the second was to develop the means necessary to address the source of the problem.

The Socrates project team knew that to develop the means to address the problem, their investigation of the source of the problem had to go beyond obvious one-liners—“Japan, Inc.”—and go beyond accepted solutions—“level the playing field.”  The Socrates solution took advantage of intelligence available through all the sources of the intelligence community, for a complete, holistic view and understanding of competition worldwide, generating for the first time in the history of mankind a bird’s eye view and understanding of all competition worldwide.

This bird’s eye view of competition went far beyond, in terms of scope and completeness, the extremely narrow slices of data that were available to the professors, professional economists, and consultants that addressed the issue of competitiveness.  As a result, the conclusions that the Socrates team derived about competitiveness in general and about the US in particular were in almost all cases in direct opposition to what the professors, economists and consultants had been saying for years, and to what had been accepted as irrefutable underlying truths by decision-makers throughout the US.

The Socrates team then went on to use this understanding of the source of the US competitiveness problem to develop the means that would be effective in truly rebuilding America’s competitiveness.

Issues:
American financial institutions and Americans in general have been basing their financial decisions on the belief that American companies are sufficiently competitive in the foreign and domestic markets to generate consistently the stable positive cash flow that the US and its citizens have learned to expect and rely upon for many years.  But, in reality, for the past fifty years, many of America’s companies have maintained stable or increasing positive cash flow, not because they are truly competitive, but only because they have very adroitly played economic shell-games.  As a result, American financial institutions and the American people have greatly overleveraged, in an unsustainable fashion, the US economy, resulting in the Wall Street meltdown and the mortgage crisis, which in turn have sent an economic tsunami around the world.

The relaxing of federal regulations over the last few years have enabled decision-makers in financial institutions and many Americans to make what are now in hind-sight considered highly risky decisions.  But if the American companies’ positive cash flow had been based upon true economic competitiveness rather than economic shell-games, the decisions of the American people and the country’s financial institutions would not be in question today and would have not generated the economic crisis we now must aggressively address if the country is to survive.

To effectively address America’s economic crisis we must do more than just mitigate the present adverse impacts of the crisis via cash infusions and tax breaks and just reestablish federal regulations that will provide more accountability for the decisions of our financial institutions.  We must aggressively address the underlying source of the economic crisis which is the decimated abilities of American companies to compete in both domestic and foreign markets.

What was discovered in the Socrates Project was that to rebuild America’s economic competitiveness, key decision-makers throughout the US in federal and state governments, industry, academia, and the press must make five significant shifts in their thinking:

#1    The US must change from economic-based planning back to technology-based planning.

#2    Technology-based planning is the foundation needed to address the wide range of functions in the private and public sectors that comprise the US economic competitiveness issue.

#3     The world is poised for the next revolutionary step in technology-based planning, the Automated Innovation Revolution, and for the US to regain its ability to compete economically with its technology-based planning, it must generate and then lead the Automated Innovation Revolution.

#4     A Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool were initially developed within the Socrates Project of the US Federal Government, and then refined within the private sector, and these make it possible for the US to generate and then lead the Automated Innovation Revolution.

#5    To generate the maximum economic competitive advantage from the Automated Innovation Revolution for the US, the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool must be used to develop symbiotic technology strategies at the country, state and organization levels, enabling the full range of US resources to be utilized in a coherent, flexible, and independent fashion, not in conflict with America’s open, democratic society.

Shift #1     The US must change from economic-based planning back to technology-based planning.

Technology-based planning is what was used to build America into a super-power.  The focus on creating the very best product or service—in other words using technology to be best at satisfying customer needs—was a focus that kept US organizations competitive.  It is this focus—this technology-based planning—that is what China and India are presently using to build themselves into the next great super-powers.  The gradual shift after World War II by US organizations to economic-based planning—a focus on economic maneuvering to maximize the bottom-line—is what caused America’s ability to compete to deteriorate over the last thirty-plus years.  Yes, the deterioration has been going on for that long, but because we have been looking solely at the economic side of the equation, we have not seen the deterioration.

In economic-based planning the foundation of every decision within the organization is a matter of how to most effectively acquire and utilize funds to generate the maximum profit for the organization.  This is what is taught at all US business schools and what has been used within almost all US organizations since the end of World War II.

In technology-based planning the basis of decisions is how to most effectively exploit—acquire and utilize–technology to excel at satisfying a customer need to generate a competitive advantage. In tech-based planning the technology is what is actually being manipulated.  Technology is any application of science to accomplish a function, whether the science is cutting-edge or well established, whether the function is a head-line grabbing new product or service or something significantly more mundane.  (Then, on top of this foundation of technology exploitation, an organization can execute the full range of other types of planning like economic optimization).

The challenge in shifting to technology-based planning is getting decision-makers to truly see the difference between technology-based and economic-based planning.  Maneuvering in the economics has been a fundamental, core concept to Americans since the end of WWII, and is so ingrained for American decision-makers that it is not even recognized as a premise with the potential of being ineffective.

Many US companies and other US organizations will adamantly maintain that they do execute “technology planning” but in actuality what they are doing is executing economic-based planning for technology.  Their planning consists of how to most effectively use available monies to fund their various R&D efforts.  What they are actually manipulating are the funds, not the technology, but they will be hard-pressed to understand the difference.  In technology-based planning one manipulates technology that is internal and external to the organization (or region) like pawns on a chess board.

This manipulation of the worldwide technology like pawns on a chessboard is what China has done and continues to do with an unmatched level of sophistication and aggressiveness to transform China into a world super-power, and to accomplish this objective with a speed that is unparalleled in the history of the world.

US companies, the White House, the US Congress, and various Washington think-tanks and organizations each have developed plans for rebuilding America’s economic competitiveness, and strongly maintain that their plans contains the necessary actions relative to science and technology (S&T).  But in all cases these plans are economic-based.

Each plan addresses science and technology for economic competitiveness as if it is nothing more than a research and development (R&D) and education foot-race among countries; each country attempting to “out-R&D” and “out-educate” all the other countries in order to get to the finish line first (i.e., get the next set of science and technology breakthroughs first).  And winning the foot-race requires nothing more than America increasing its R&D and education spending via initiatives like tax breaks to the companies and the direct injection of federal dollars…. in other words, manipulation of the economics of the situation, not the manipulation of the technology, which is the foundation of the country’s and the competitors’ competitive advantage.
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What is key to understand about this required shift in thinking is:
(a)     the true, fundamental and radical difference between maneuvering in the economics as executed in economic-based planning and maneuvering in the technology as executed in technology-based planning,
(b)    that economic-based planning is so pervasive and such a core-concept throughout all US public and private organizations that its existence does not even register in the minds of the decision-makers let alone the thought that it could be ineffective and the source of the problem, and
(c)    the fact that the determination that technology exploitation, via technology-based planning is the foundation of all competitive advantage, as well as all of the other determinations of the five mental shifts were made from a one-of-a-kind, all-source intelligence bird’s eye view, holistic understanding of all competition worldwide.

Shift #2    Technology-based planning is the foundation needed to effectively address the wide range of functions in the private and public sectors that comprise the US economic competitiveness issue.

Because technology exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage, technology-based planning is the most effective basis for addressing the wide range of functions which comprise the US economic competitiveness issue.  Using technology-based planning to address these functions accomplishes two critical objectives.  First, it enables each function to be addressed in the most effective way possible for increasing America’s and American organizations’ abilities to generate and maintain economic competitiveness.  Second, because all of the functions are being addressed from the same basis, it enables all the functions to be executed in a coherent manner, further increasing the functions effectiveness in driving US economic competitiveness.  It is literally impossible for the US to effectively address challenges like China’s rapidly expanding worldwide economic dominance, if functions like US trade policy, IP laws and the upgrading of the country’s infrastructure are not addressed in a coherent, highly integrated fashion.

Private sector–In the private sector, technology-based planning is the correct and therefore most effective basis for decision making throughout the US companies and even not-for-profit organizations.  Using technology-based planning as the basis of decision-making throughout an organization, takes the process for generating a competitive advantage (where generating a competitive advantage is the ultimate objective of each and every decision within an organization) from what is thought of and addressed as
fragmented and fully at the whims of the illogical and undefinable factors of the market and the undefinable and unknowable “secret sauces” of the competitors, and therefore highly inefficient,
to one that is
logical, systematic, and therefore highly efficient and effective.

In addition, using technology-based planning as the foundation for the full range of decisions within the organization (e.g., marketing, R&D, human resources) enables the organization to achieve the heretofore unobtainable “holy grail” of the MBA programs–the ability to integrate the decision-making for all functions so that the resulting decisions are coherent rather then disjointed.

Public sector–In the public sector the functions to be addressed include, but are far from limited to, (a) trade agreements, policies and taxation and the enforcement of the agreements, (b) the US patent system and the intellectual property laws, (c) vocational training and education, (d) university education and R&D, and (e) infrastructure upgrades.  To have the level of effectiveness required to support the US and its organizations’ ability to generate and maintain the required competitive advantage relative to countries like China and India, these functions cannot be addressed with economic-based planning as they presently are. They must be based on technology-based planning.

For example, take the case of US trade agreements and policies.  In the case of a country like China, its trade agreements and policies are an integral part of China’s grand economic development technology strategy for the country–and as such the agreements and policies are technology-based.  China’s trade agreements and policies are not economic-based, and they are not fragmented.
China’s trade agreements and policies are designed to support China’s and its organizations’ acquisition and utilization of the worldwide technology to generate and maintain the maximum economic competitive advantage.  Other factors and issues come into play, but it is the effective exploitation of the technology (where technology is correctly defined as any application of science to accomplish a function) that provides China and its organizations’ with a competitive advantage and therefore is the underlying basis for the agreements and policies.

To effectively address China’s and other countries’ trade agreements and policies, which are technology-based, the US’ trade agreements and policies must also be technology-based.

One of the strongly inherent problems with the US’ purely economic-based planning approach to trade is the country’s inability to understand the trade policies and agreements that are technology-based.  To a US trade official whose entire view of competitiveness and trade is economic-based, the trade policies and agreements of a country like China can be more than a little mystifying in terms of their content and their results.

For example, the US trade official may identify the very strong trade barriers erected by China for a particular, very small new industry where the Chinese companies of the industry have full access to the US market, but due to trade barriers the US companies of the same industry have very little access to the Chinese market.  With this knowledge, the US trade official will determine the present and make some projections as to the dollar value impact these trade barriers will have on the future trade balance between the two countries.  Then armed with what he or she believes is a full understanding of China’s actions and the actions’ impacts, the trade official will make some determinations on how to compensate for this impact on the trade balance between the two countries (e.g., negotiate the expansion of US company access to other Chinese markets).

The US trade official thinks that the China trade officials are not very wise to spend so much time and energy erecting strong trade barriers for an industry whose (a) maximum dollar value in potential trade is so small that it does not even register in the reported trade balance between the two countries, and (b) projected economic growth in the next five years is not expected to be significant.  The US trade official also suspects that the Chinese officials may have instituted the trade barriers as bargaining chips to use to open up other larger US markets, but again the US official see this as very unwise because the small near and long term dollar value of the trade for this small industry is not very compelling.

From the US trade official’s perspective the situation is basically an economic shell game where the only real measure of success is the resulting positive or negative impact in dollars on the near and in some cases longer term trade balance between the various countries and what is measured, tracked and maneuvered to accomplish this success is the economics of the trade situation.

But from the technology-based perspective, the actions of the Chinese and the resulting impact on the US look radically different.  The Chinese trade barriers for the small industry are part of a much larger trade agenda which in turn is part of the country’s overall grand economic development technology strategy with its various aspects in education, R&D and other functions with the result being the coherent utilization of a large range of resources through these various mechanisms to accomplish an objective that is way beyond in scope and size the small industry where the trade barriers were put in place.
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What is key to understand about this required shift in thinking is:
(a)     For companies and other private organizations to be most competitive, they must switch from their present economic-based planning, which is the basis of all the decision-making throughout the organization, to technology-based planning.
(b)    Technology is any application of science to accomplish a function.  The science can be very leading edge or very well established and the function to be accomplished can be highly news worth or significantly more mundane.  As a result, technology-based planning is the most effective foundation for decision-making for all size organizations within all industries.
(c)    The full range of functions that are the responsibility of the US public sector, from trade policy to patent system, will be highly ineffective in supporting the economic competitiveness of the US and its organizations if they continue to be based on economic-based planning. To have the required level of effectiveness these functions must be addressed using technology-based planning.

Shift #3    The world is poised for the next revolutionary step in technology-based planning, the Automated Innovation Revolution, and for the US to regain its ability to compete economically with its tech-based planning, it must generate and then lead the Automated Innovation Revolution.

From the Socrates bird’s eye view it was also seen that in the fifty plus years since the end of WWII, when the US shifted away from technology-based planning, the means to execute tech-based planning had evolved and become significantly more sophisticated.  As a result, it was obvious that for the US to remain an economic super-power it could not just execute tech-based planning as it had before WWII, or even try to adopt the means used by countries like Japan, India, and China.  Rather the US had to significantly move beyond how all countries of the world were executing their technology-based planning.

To determine how to leap-frog the technology-based planning of other countries, the Socrates team reviewed the history of technology exploitation and determined that technology-based planning makes a  revolutionary leap forward every few hundreds of years, and that mankind is poised for the next leap—the Automated Innovation Revolution.

In the twentieth century’s automated production revolution, the processes of production were quantified and standardized so that they could be automated.  The same products were produced, but efficient production made them abundant and cheap.  The impact of the Automated Innovation Revolution on mankind will be greater than the impact of the automated production revolution. Today the process for technology innovation (i.e., technology acquisition and utilization) is haphazard and therefore inefficient—slow and costly.  In the Automated Innovation Revolution, the process for acquiring and utilizing technology will be quantified so that it can be automated.  The automation of the innovation process will enable the exploitation of technology to be executed with an unprecedented level of speed, efficiency and agility.

Speed–Automated innovation will enable an endless, rapid stream of previously unimaginable products and services to be produced and provided that will be based upon technology breakthroughs being generated and utilized at an astronomically fast rate.  For example, minimum uncertainty both in the planning of the cross-pollinations that generate technology breakthroughs and in the knowledge of the attributes of the resulting technologies that dictate their utilization results in extremely high execution speeds.

Efficiency–Automated innovation will enable services to be provided and products to be produced that possess the strengths to dominate entire markets and even complete industries from relatively small amounts of resources.  For example, minimum uncertainty in planning the exploitation of technology results in very precise and accurate technology maneuvers, which are extremely efficient in utilizing the full range of resources to generate a competitive advantage.

Agility–Automated innovation will enable services to be provided and products to be produced that consistently satisfy customer needs better than the competition, in order to acquire and maintain the maximum competitive advantage no matter how the world evolves.  For example, having minimum uncertainty in knowing the four dimensions of technologyspace will provide an organization or a region with the agility to adroitly out-maneuver all competitors in the acquisition and utilization of worldwide technology to consistently eliminate competitors’ ability to acquire a competitive advantage while generating the maximum competitive advantage for the organization or region.

The combination of speed, efficiency and agility provided by the Automated Innovation will enable an organization or a region to consistently out-maneuver the competition in the acquisition and utilization of the technology (i.e., the exploitation of the technology).  And, because technology exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage, this means that the Automated Innovation will enable an organization or a region to out-maneuver the competition in the full range of resources.

The Automated Innovation Revolution will occur in the very near term.  If the US generates and then leads the Automated Innovation Revolution, the US and its organizations will be executing technology-based planning which will far surpass the effectiveness of the tech-based planning being executed by all other countries and organizations worldwide—the US and its organizations will consistently outmaneuver all other countries and organizations worldwide in the acquisition and utilization of the worldwide technology to acquire and maintain the required competitive advantage.  The US and its organizations will be able to quickly rebuild and maintain their economic health for many generations to come.
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What is key to understand about this required shift in thinking is:
(a)    The impact that the next revolution of Automated Innovation will have on all society will be much greater than the impact of other revolutions like the scientific revolution.
(b)    If the US generates and leads the Automated Innovation Revolution, we will have the ability to quickly rebuild America’s economic strength so that we will continue to be a superpower for many generations.  If on the other hand, another country generates and leads the Automated Innovation Revolution, we will have no chance of maintaining our standard of living, let alone remain a superpower.

Shift #4     A Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool were initially developed within the Socrates Project of the US federal government and then refined within the private sector, and these make it possible for the US to generate and then lead the Automated Innovation Revolution.

Technologyspace is the full set of present and “future” technologies whose four dimensions dictate how the technology can be acquired and utilized for a competitive advantage.  The Technologyspace Map is a computer-based, accurate, precise, and detailed real-time representation of the complete four-dimensional technologyspace and not a model (i.e., a simplified representation of technologyspace).

The Map Navigation Tool, like the Technologyspace Map is computer-based and enables the Techspace Map to be navigated in an automated fashion to produce technology strategies that acquire and utilize the present and future worldwide technologies in an unprecedented, extremely efficient, and astronomically rapid and agile fashion—automated innovation.

It is important to note that a strategy is not the same as long-range or centralized planning.  It is not a vision statement, or the result of an exercise in consensus building or a matter of identifying trends to capitalize on.  Also, a strategy is not a shopping list of targets (i.e., a list of government programs to be funded, products to be produced, or customers to be focused on). However, in government, business and academia, these incorrect definitions of strategy are used more frequently than the correct definition of strategy.

A strategy is a coherent, interconnected set of concrete action items for offensively and defensively acquiring and utilizing a limited resource more effectively than a competitor, to bring about a specific objective relative to the competitor.  A strategy is fluid in nature and in most cases acquires its strength from positioning, flexibility and balance.

A strategy has a much higher degree of success than an approach like a shopping list of programs that an organization (or a government) should focus its efforts on.

The pool of resources that both an organization and its competitor must draw from and then utilize to achieve their respective objectives is limited in size.  As a result, for the organization to achieve the highest degree of success, the organization must both maximize the efficiency of the organization’s acquisition and utilization of the resources from the pool and minimize the efficiency of competitor’s acquisition and utilization of the resources–in simple terms, the less of the limited resources the competitor exploits, the more is available for the organization to exploit.

To most effectively maximize an organization’s efficiency and minimize the competitor’s efficiency, the organization must execute a set of offensive and defensive actions that act in concert in the maximization and minimization of the organization’s and competitor’s exploitation efficiencies respectively–the defensive actions hold the competitor’s exploitation at bay while the offensive actions are free to exploit the resource.

The final result is the organization is able to maximize the gap between the organization’s and the competitor’s respective efficiencies for acquiring and utilizing the limited resource, no matter how the world evolves, to have maximum success in achieving the objective–the organization out-maneuvers the competitor’s exploitation of the resource at every turn.

In contrast, a pseudo-strategy that is basically a shopping list of targets on which an organization (or a government) should focus its effort is only addressing the organization’s resource instead of the vast world-wide pool of that resource.  It relies upon educated guessing instead of maneuvering to exploit the resource, and the educated guessing exploits the resource in a fragmented rather than coherent fashion.  The competitor is free to adroitly maneuver within the complete pool of that resource, which includes the portion of the resource within the organization, and to exploit the limited resource in a coherent, offensive and defensive manner relative to the organization, while the organization is attempting to guess the future to determine how to best exploit its own resource.

In a strategy for economic competitiveness, as was determined in the Socrates Project, the limited resource is technology, and a technology strategy enables an organization or a country to consistently out-maneuver the competition in the acquisition and utilization of worldwide technology for a competitive advantage.

The Socrates Project produced an early version of the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool and proved the Map’s and the Map Navigation Tool’s feasibility and utility by developing technology strategies for various high priority government programs.  As a result of this initial work, President Reagan had an executive order drafted creating a new government organization for the Socrates Project, answering directly to the White House, with the mandate of giving all US federal government organizations and US private organizations access to the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool for their development of technology strategies.

Since the termination of the Socrates Project, the design of the Techspace Map Navigation Tool has been considerably upgraded via a private sector initiative.

The upgraded Map Navigation Tool displays the pertinent portion of the 4-D Techspace Map to the decision-maker in a manner that enables the decision-maker to see graphically and holistically the full range of opportunities and constraints within techspace that could be used offensively or defensively by the organization or the competition to generate a competitive advantage.

The decision-maker is then able to explore each of the opportunities and constraints both individually and in combinations, see the competitor’s potential responses to the organization’s exercising the opportunities and constraints, and then the resulting competitive advantage that will be generated by the organization (or the competitor)—all viewed graphically and holistically on the display.

From there, the decision-maker builds a complete technology strategy that consists of a coherent set of interconnected actions for offensively and defensively acquiring and utilizing technology (which includes R&D internal to the organization) to generate and maintain the maximum competitive advantage for the organization.

The result is that the process of innovation (i.e., the acquisition and utilization of technology) is automated for unprecedented speed, efficiency and agility, such that the organization (or a region or a country) can acquire and maintain the maximum competitive advantage relative to all competitors worldwide

Because technology exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage and acquiring a competitive advantage is the objective of all functions within all organizations, the technology strategies developed from the Technologyspace Map and Map Navigation Tool are the most effective foundation for decision-making at all levels, for all functions, throughout all types and sizes of organizations.

By the US generating and then leading the Automated Innovation Revolution via the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool, the country will have the ability to execute the functions discussed in mental shift #2 (e.g., infrastructure upgrades, trade policies, education planning) in a manner that is vastly more effective for generating an economic competitive advantage than what any other country (including China and India) can accomplish anytime in the foreseeable future.
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What is key to understand about this required shift in thinking is:
(a)    A strategy is not the same as centralized planning or a list of targets to address.
(b)    A strategy is a coherent, interconnected set of concrete action items for offensively and defensively acquiring and utilizing a limited resource more effectively than a competitor to bring about a specific objective relative to the competitor.  A strategy is fluid in nature and in most cases acquires its strength from positioning, flexibility and balance.
(c)    The Techspace Map and the Map Navigation Tool for generating technology strategies are feasible.
(d)    The Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool will cause the Automated Innovation Revolution, with all its ramifications to occur.
(e)    The Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool will enable the US to address functions like trade policy, IP laws, education, and the patent system with an efficiency and a level of coherence for generating economic competitiveness that far surpasses that which can be achieved by any other country in the foreseeable future.
(f)    Because technology is correctly defined as any application of science to accomplish a function, the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool are applicable to all industries at all levels of technology sophistication–from high-tech to “no-tech” to everything in between.

Shift #5    To generate the maximum economic competitive advantage from the Automated Innovation Revolution for the US, the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool must be used to develop symbiotic technology strategies at the country, state and organization levels enabling the full range of US resources to be utilized in a coherent, flexible, and independent fashion, not in conflict with America’s open, democratic society.

The Socrates team reviewed how the most competitive countries of the world deployed technology strategies and determined that symbiotic deployment was most effective in generating an economic competitive advantage for the country and its organizations.  The deployment of symbiotic tech strategies accomplishes two functions.  First, it enables the full range of resources throughout the country to be exploited in a highly coherent yet flexible and independent fashion.  And second, it enables resources outside of the country to be acquired and utilized with the country’s internal resources in a coherent and thereby efficient manner.  The results are that the country and all its organizations acquire and maintain the maximum economic competitive advantage over their competitors, and they accomplish it without violating US anti-trust law or the concepts of democracy and a free society that the US is based upon.

A symbiotic technology strategy
-    Enables each organization to exploit to some extent the technologies of the other organizations for its competitive advantage and therefore success, and
-    The success of each organization, which further increases its technologies, increases the success of the other organizations by giving them more technology to exploit, so that,
-    Each organization is willing to have its technology exploited, to some degree, by the other organizations.
The result is that the technologies of the organizations are exploited in a highly coherent yet flexible and independent fashion.  But, because the exploitation of technology is the foundation of all competitive advantage, when the technologies are exploited coherently, the organizations’ other resources (e.g., manpower, funds) are also exploited in a highly coherent yet flexible fashion.

In addition, because the US and its organizations would act as a single coherent resource, partnering with one of the US organizations would be highly attractive for foreign organizations, because they would be, in effect, partnering with the full range of resources throughout the US.  For the US, the resources of the external organizations would be efficiently integrated into the US grand economic development symbiotic technology strategy for the maximum benefit for the US and its organizations.

The key to developing symbiotic technology strategies in the US where individual independence is so prized and exercised is the ability of the decision-makers of the organizations to see in concrete terms how they will benefit by working symbiotically with other organizations. (This situation contrasts the pseudo-consortia of the 1980s in the US in which businesses and other organizations were expected to cooperate and commit significant resources based upon vague inferences of ill-defined future benefits.)  The Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool will accomplish this function and do it so that anti-trust laws or the spirit of the democracy are not violated.

Another lesser, but very important key to having symbiotic technology strategies developed and executed throughout the US is the level of usability of the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool.  Because the Map Navigation Tool interface is graphic and highly intuitive (like a video game), decision-makers in all industries with all levels of technology sophistication will be able quickly learn and easily use the Map and Nav Tool for decision-making.  In addition, decision-making with the Map and Nav Tool will be vastly quicker and easier, and will produce decisions that are far superior for acquiring and maintaining a competitive advantage.

As a result, decision-makers throughout the US will naturally, but quickly and efficiently, adopt symbiotic technology strategies as their bases for decision making.

It is important to keep in mind that, put in simple terms, when a US company is in competition with a Chinese company, it is actually in competition with China itself.  The Chinese company, depending upon its size and criticality to the future of China is supported by a large and wide range of public and, in some sense, private Chinese organizations.  The actions of the public and private Chinese companies are coordinated to provide the support required to ensure the success of the Chinese company.

The coordination that results is not the same as the rigid, lock-step formation execution that was the hallmark of the old Soviet Union’s centralized planning.  Rather the coordination executed by the Chinese is a softer, more flexible execution where cooperation amongst the various Chinese organizations is implemented either via direct control by the Chinese government of the key industry companies or in the case of the non-key industry companies is induced via the government’s control of resources and subtle pressure to conform.  But the result is that a US company is not “taking on” a Chinese company in the marketplace, the US company is taking on China.

Symbiotic deployment of the technology strategies within the US via the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool will enable the US companies and all other types of US organizations to utilize the full range of US resource with a level of coherence and flexibility that far surpasses that achieved by the Chinese organizations, all the while not minimizing to any degree the US organizations’ ability to act in a totally independent manner.

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What is key to understand about this required shift in thinking is:
(a)     Symbiotic deployment multiplies the economic competitive advantage, for the region and the organizations of the region, generated by the technology strategies developed from the Automated Innovation Revolution of the Techspace Map and Map Navigation Tool.
(b)     The development and execution of symbiotic technology strategies does not violate anti-trust laws, or the nature of a democratic society.
(c)     Symbiotic deployment of technology strategies does not just negate, but surpasses for the US and its organizations, the competitive advantage that the Chinese organizations now have by the Chinese government coordinating the support amongst the Chinese organizations for the country’s and the Chinese organization’s competitive advantage.
(d)    And lastly, symbiotic deployment provides citizens throughout the country with the power to control their own economic health and thereby destiny.

Conclusion:

In most cases the solution to a problem means just refining what has already been done.  In a few cases the solution requires the participants to make a shift in their thinking on how things operate to have an understanding of the problem and the required solution.  In our case, the solution requires the participants to make five significant shifts in their thinking in order to truly understand the problem, the solution, and then execute the solution.

Getting decision-makers to make these five major shifts in their thinking is the challenge that we must and will overcome to provide the US with a bright future.

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