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Dave Gardner's Predictions for 2012

By David J. Gardner

  • More people will leave, or give up being part of, corporations to become free agents and will require assistance learning how to maneuver in the world to attract clients.

  • Co-working locations will expand coincident with free agent expansion.

  • Companies will continue to expand purchase of enterprise applications and still not realize that, unless you factor in "people" and "process," the investment will not yield much return on investment.

  • Personalized products and services will expand job growth in the U.S.

  • Early adopters will begin to embrace 3D tools running within a web browser as part of highly-configurable product "configure-price-quote" solutions.

  • "Cloud computing" will become so ubiquitous and superfluous that it won't be a differentiator.

  • Organizations will need to address the ever-expanding "consumerization of IT" ~ the use of non-corporate assets being used on the network.

  • Continued decline in the use of corporate email is replaced by social tools employing Facebook-like threaded discussions.

  • Social media use will grow as a means to reach companies and for companies to interact with customers.

  • The Senate, House of Representatives and White House will be in the hands of the Democratic party after the November 2012 election.

And . . .

What�s Next for North Korea?

By David J. Gardner


The simple answer to �what�s next for North Korea� is probably just more of the same.

Kim Jung Il did not select his son, Kim Jung Un, to take over because he would be an agent of change.  He was chosen to preserve the status quo.  Wealth, power and control is in the hands of those who proclaim the virtues of the North Korean status quo and use crippling fear to dominate the rest of the people.  Considering that he Kim Jung Un is in his late 20�s, he has the life expectancy to be in control for a very long time.

If Kim Jung Un wanted to look for a different economic system and business model, he need only look to South Korea which enjoys a vibrant economy nearly 40 times the size of North Korea�s economy.  Some economists call North Korea�s economy medieval � it is completely isolated from the rest of the world.

Do not expect Kim Jun Un to look at what is working outside of North Korea.  We can however, expect that when he is faced with a difficult decision Kim Jung Un will more probably say to himself, �What would my father have done?�  For that is exactly what his father did.

The legacy Kim Jung Il, also known as �Dear Leader,� can be best described as pathetic:

          Reports claim that up to 2 million died of starvation while he continued to expand his military and nuclear capability.

          In North Korea there are insufficient food supplies to keep the mass of the people from getting adequate nutrition on a daily basis. Most get about one-third of their nutritional requirements.

          Gulags account for several million more deaths.  There are reports that the happiest days for these people are when they are infrequently allowed outside the gulag to eat grass and weeds, an action that is forbidden inside the gulags.

A few years ago I read a human rights report about life in the North Koran gulags. The report was very disturbing � I do not recommend reading it to the more sensitive. One of the most interesting statements was by a guard who offered that his greatest fear is that, if the people incarcerated in the gulags were to turn on them, their sheer numbers would overwhelm the guards quickly.  Imagine if the people in the gulags knew this?  Liberation is closer than any of them know.

North Korea is a fear-based regime of the greatest proportions: fear of not saying or thinking the right things, fear of being imprisoned, fear of not having any food to eat, fear of further loss of liberty.  The question, Is such fear sustainable?  It may not be. One need only look at Libya, Tunisia, or Egypt.  North Korea is different, but, perhaps not entirely resistant to change.

As a management consultant, I learned long ago not to want something more for a client than the client wants for themselves.  And, the same is true for North Korea.  Until Kim Jung Un realizes that there is a better way, nothing will change.  However, Kim Jung Un is unlikely to place himself in the precarious situation of offering changes to the status quo, because those that benefit from the present state of affairs might just decide to take him out.  Sadly, fear has a complete stranglehold from bottom to the top in North Korea.

David J. Gardner, has held senior management positions in Product Development, Manufacturing, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Product Management.  He joined Tandem Computers in 1979 where he was responsible for Corporate Documentation Standards for Tandem's highly configurable and expandable computer systems. In 1983, he designed and implemented a Configuration Guide for Dialogic Systems instituting a process that greatly simplified a complex, modular product such that the field sales organization and international OEM customers could easily define their order requirements. This methodology satisfied the product definition needs of sales, marketing, engineering, manufacturing, customer service and finance. David founded his consulting practice in 1991.  He is a graduate of San Jose State University (BA) and Santa Clara University (MBA). David is a member of the Society for the Advancement of Consulting (SAC) and has been Board Approved in the Area of Configurable Product & Services Strategy and Implementation. In 2010, he was inducted in the Million Dollar Consultant Hall of Fame.  Out of over 1,000 consultants who have completed Alan Weiss�s mentoring program, only 26 have been inducted into the Hall of Fame.

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