The World Isnt Flat, Its Tilted, claims new book
Across the country, a growing number of Americans fear they could be replaced by someone from a developing country. Recent polls indicate millions of Americans are preoccupied with the outsourcing of American jobs and the threat of global economic competition. From board rooms to classrooms to kitchen tables and water coolers, globalization has become a hot topic of discussion and debate everywhere.
Thomas Friedmans recent New York Times Bestselling book, The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century, asserts that the international economic playing field is now more level than it has ever been. As popular as the book may be, Friedmans theories on globalization have brought critics out in droves.
The world isnt flat as a result of globalization, says Peter Fingar, noted business expert and author of Extreme Competition: Innovation and the Great 21st Century Business Reformation (MK Press, 2006). The world is tilted in favor of a fierce new breed of competitors. These competitors exploit 3 billion low-paid workers in China, India and the former Soviet Union, countries that have recently adopted capitalism.
These fierce new competitors are ready to engage you, your company, and your kids in extreme competition, says Fingar. They play hardball and dominate their industries. Theyll go to the ends of the earth to employ factory workers for 9 cents an hour and Ph.D.s in science and technology for $20,000 a year. This global search for low-cost labor has already begun to damage, and may even cripple, Americas middle class.
This epic change in traditional business strategies and assumptions has shaken up the way the world does business. The development of the Internet has eliminated time and distance considerations for workers and added fuel to the fire of global competition. Americans are reluctantly facing a shift of wealth and power to the East.
The great dot-com crash of 2000 wasnt the signal for the beginning of the end, it was a signal that we had reached the end of the beginning, says Fingar. The tinkering phase of the Internet was complete, and now its time to get on with the real transformation of business and society.
Fingar stresses that this transformation is not something for us to worry about in the future. The time is now to deal with the reality of the global economy. We are not on the brink of a great transition, says Fingar. Weve already crossed the threshold to a new economic world order.
Providing the framework and practical strategies needed for action, Extreme Competition acts as a survival guide in this new age of global competition and provides the insight needed to win. We must be prepared now for extreme competition or lose our standing in the world economy and our standard of living, he says. Fingars message serves as a penetrating wake-up call for governments, businesses and individuals everywhere.
From the July 26-Aug. 1, 2006, issue