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Hank Paulson is taking heat from economists, Wall Street institutional investors and politicians in Congress for changing the federal government bailout policy. The stock market went down last week partly on the fear that no one is in charge in Washington and that there isn’t any stability yet to the financial crisis and deepening economic recession. So Paulson the conventional wisdom is that Paulson is failing—and may be a failure.
That is simply not true. Paulson is doing what he should be doing, which is what designers do—he is looking at the facts on the ground and iterating and prototyping as he goes. With the housing bubble bursting, we are now in a period of fast change, high uncertainty, and deep confusion as to what to do. Standard policies won’t work. New programs have to be created on the fly. The best strategy is to try many things, fail fast, learn from the failures and move on. This is what Paulson is doing.
In fact, the big question facing the US is this: What do you do when you don’t know what to do? The answer is design your way into the uncertain future. Which is what Paulson is, in effect, doing. Paulson is the Grand Designer.
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.