Sunday, November 28, 2004

If Ran the Council . . .Version 1

To be clear, I have no direct experience of printing or Counsels in the UK. Everything I think I know is from searching the net and conversations. So take the following for what it's worth.

If I ran the Council, here's what I'd do.
If the alternative is a WalMart style Printer, I would make the rules.
If they won't play by those rules, someone else will.
If no one will play by those rules, I would do it myself.

It's all about time and proximate incentives.
The Council has a long time horizon.
The mission is to grow an educated and healthy community.
The incentive is to get reelected.

A traditional business has a short time horizon.
The mission is to take capital and create money capital.
The incentive is the bonus and the promotion.
A social mission is a distraction to a business.

If Power is satisfied with progress,
Managers get rewarded.
Business managers get a bonus/promotion or don't get fired.
Public managers get peace & quiet/promotion or don't get fired.

In the Google Mart economy, the winners create more with less.
As for business so for government.
A traditional strategy focuses on cutting costs.
A Google-Mart strategy focuses on creating new value.

A traditional response is to outsource a functionality.
A Google-Mart response is to locate the kernel of value
And outsource everything else.
Once the value has been identified - prototype, test, scale.

What is the kernel of value in Print?
It's not in advertising.
It is in increasing the speed of learning.
The book, the newsletter, the poster.

Typography and diagrams demand logical thought.
Reading through them forces the reader to discriminate.
The internet is still interactive television.
It talks to the conversational mind.

Print sits quietly on paper.
It engages the logical mind.
So few people learn to think logically because it is not natural.
The best tool for logical thought is Print and a Pencil.

So it was in the first enlightenment.
So it is in the present enlightenment.
Print enables compare and contrast.
Compare and contrast is the operational definition of think.

Commercial printing firms live in Google-Mart.
The business models are disintegrating.
The functionalities grouped in evolved business organizations are separating.
As they separate print becomes cheaper.

The opportunity.
Yesterday, the power of print was focused by the highest bidder.
Today, the power of print can be focused by local communities.
Today it is money capital + social capital = sustainable enterprise.

Recently there has been a discussion on the web and in the real world about a B Corporation.
You can explore the experience and ideas at their website.
From their site:
We envision a new sector of the economy which harnesses the power of private enterprise to create public benefit. This sector is comprised of a new type of corporation the B Corporation which is purpose-driven and creates benefit for all stakeholders, not just shareholders.

As members of this emerging sector and as entrepreneurs and investors in B Corporations, We hold these truths to be self-evident:

- That we must be the change we seek in the world.
- That all business ought to be conducted as if people and place mattered.
- That, through their products, practices, and profits, businesses should aspire to do no harm and benefit all.
- To do so requires that we act with the understanding that we are each dependent upon another
and thus responsible for each other and future generations.
There are a number of other similar business models being discussed and implemented, but the basic idea is the same: to focus the power of business to build educated, healthy communities.

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