Conventional economic wisdom says that with oil prices spiking up into the $70-$80 a barrel range, we should be having a recession. Oil acts as a huge tax and it is sucking out buying power from consumers and purchasing power from businesses (JetBlue would be buying more planes if it didn’t have to pay so much for fuel). But the economy continues to power on. What gives?
I would venture to say that innovation is making the economy ever more energy-efficient in a million different ways that we do not see. Productivity growth continues to soar at record levels and this week the government will report a gain of close to 3% for the first quarter. Yes, productivity growth did drop late last year but that decline is turning out to be an anomaly. Over the past five years, productivity has been exceptionally strong. It was strong in the late 90s as well.
It’s no accident that companies have been focussing on innovation in this same 10 year period. And not just product and service innnovation but business model innovation as well. The plug-and-play network system of organization, in an indirect and weird way, is very energy efficient. The Treo and Blackberry systems, in an indirect way, are very energy-saving—and very productivity-enhancing.
Think about it.
Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.